Abstract # 46:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 17, 2006 02:45 PM-03:00 PM: Session 6 (Regency East #3) Oral Presentation

The use of two different tools in series in captive rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)

C. Metevier1,2, K. M. Stonemetz2 and M. A. Novak1,2,3
1Neuroscience and Behavior Graduate Program, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Tobin Hall, Amherst, MA 01003, USA, 2New England Primate Research Center, Harvard Medical School, One Pine Hill Drive, Southborough, MA 01772, USA, 3Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
     Few studies have investigated tasks requiring the use of two tools in sequence. Recent evidence suggests that certain species can use two sticks (one short and one long) in series to retrieve a reward. The current study examined whether 15 rhesus monkeys could use 2 different tools, a rake and a rod, in sequence to retrieve a treat from within a clear tube. To solve the task, the monkeys needed to use the rake to retrieve the rod from out of reach and then insert the rod into the tube to expel the reward. During preliminary testing, eleven monkeys were able to maneuver the rake to retrieve out of reach reward items; however, only two monkeys were able to use the rod to expel food from within the tube. Therefore only these two monkeys were tested on the series task. Both monkeys were able to use the tools in sequence; one monkey solved the task immediately (within 3 minutes). These results suggest that although tool use in rhesus monkeys appears to be uncommon, some individuals may have exceptional abilities using objects as tools. Supported by NCRR grants #RR11122 and #RR00168.