Abstract # 13395 Poster # 110:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 22, 2019 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Alumni Lounge) Poster Presentation


SOCIOECOLOGY AND PERSPECTIVE TAKING: INSIGHTS FROM A COMPARISON OF TWO MACAQUE SPECIES

A. M. Arre and L. R. Santos
Yale University, Dept. of Psychology, 2 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA
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     Recent work has argued that a species’ socioecology can impact their cognitive abilities. Indeed, comparative cognition studies have demonstrated that even closely related species often show different patterns of behavior on the same task (e.g., chimpanzees vs. bonobos). Thus, research comparing multiple species on the same task is needed for us to better understand the socioecological factors that contribute to the development of different cognitive capacities. Here, we explore whether differences in socioecology can impact perspective-taking abilities. To do so, we focus on the Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus), a historically underrepresented primate species in comparative cognition, and an ideal comparison to the well-represented rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) due to their vast differences in socioecology (respectively, gregarious versus more despotic). We compared Barbary macaques’ performance (n=80) on a previously established perspective-taking task with that of adult rhesus monkeys (n=120) that examines whether subjects expect other agents to act in line with their visual perspective. Our results show that adult Barbary macaques form expectations about how another agent will act based on the agent’s visual perspective, and look longer when the agent acts inconsistently (p < 0.05), as compared to when she acts consistently with her visual perspective. Taken together, our results suggest that socioecology does not play a role in the development of visual perspective taking abilities.