Abstract # 2062 Poster # 196:

Scheduled for Friday, August 18, 2006 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 17 (Regency West 1/3 ) Poster Presentation

Affiliative social contagion in captive chimpanzees (PAN TROGLODYTES)

T. Chacon1, E. Videan2, L. Nash1 and J. Fritz2
1Arizona State University, Department of Anthropology, Tempe, Arizona 85281, USA, 2Primate Foundation of Arizona
     This study focused on affiliative social contagion of groom and play in captive chimpanzee social groups. Previous studies have identified social facilitation (change in behavior in the presence of conspecifics) but few can identify social contagion (change in behavior without the presence of conspecifics) and rule out the possibility of social facilitation. This study used a playback design of pre-recorded chimpanzee grooming and laughter vocalizations from novel individuals to test for the occurrence of affiliative social contagion. Playback studies allow researchers to make rare events common and occur when they are needed. Data were collected using focal group scan-sampling techniques 10 minutes before, during, and after the recorded stimulus was played for each group (N=8), housed both inside and outside at the Primate Foundation of Arizona. Within each treatment, behavioral and vocal data within each of the observation phases (before, during, and after stimuli) were compared using a repeated-measures ANOVA. The grooming recordings increased both social grooming (inside: F=14.26, p<0.001; outside: F=17.41, p=0.001) and solitary grooming (inside: F=86.04, p<0.001; outside: F=49.76, p<0.001), as well as focal group grooming vocalizations (inside: F=11.08, p=0.001, outside: F=20.57, p<0.001). The laughter recordings increased social grooming (inside: F=4.86, p=0.018; outside: F=5.83, p=0.012) and increased social play (outside: F=6.06, p=0.018). This study demonstrated that affiliative auditory stimuli from unknown individuals do increase affiliative behavior in captive chimpanzees.