Abstract # 105:

Scheduled for Friday, June 20, 2008 05:00 PM-07:00 PM: Session 12 (Ball Rooms A and B) Poster Presentation

Shared touch-panel tasks for pairs of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)

C. F. Martin1, D. Biro2 and T. Matsuzawa1
1Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Inuyama-city, Aichi 484-8506, Japan, 2Department of Zoology, University of Oxford
     Matching-to-sample is a commonly used method for studying cognition. In this study, we present here a new matching-to-sample paradigm to the study of chimpanzee social cognition. The simplest version of this paradigm consists of two chimpanzees side by side using interconnected touch-panel stations. Our task consists of one chimpanzee selecting a sample stimulus on a touch-panel. A second chimpanzee is then required to match that sample choice on their own touch-panel. Subjects consist of three mother-offspring dyads that interchangeably perform the task at the two stations. Offspring performed the simple matching task significantly above chance level [one sample t-test, a=0.001], whereas the naive mothers did not. Also, offspring performance was significantly better than that of their naive mothers [paired sample t-test, a=0.05]. This study addresses the following 3 aspects of chimpanzee social cognition: 1) the ability to copy another's behavior based on observation, 2) the effect of social relationship on sample matching, and 3) the difference in attentiveness between mothers and offspring.  We can readily elaborate on this basic novel interactive paradigm to explore the ability for more complex matching schemes as well as the influence of social tolerance and dominance relationship on matching performance.