Abstract # 45:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 19, 2008 05:00 PM-07:00 PM: Session 4 (Ball Rooms A and B) Poster Presentation

Macaques (Macaca silenus) Recognize Pictures of Food

R. M. Wright, J. Bohrman, L. Kurdziel and P. Judge
Bucknell University, C0908, 701 Moore Avenue, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania 17837, USA
     Pictorial representations of three-dimensional objects are often used to investigate animal categorization abilities; however, investigators rarely evaluate whether the animals conceptualize the two-dimensional image as the object it is intended to represent. We tested for picture recognition in lion-tailed macaques by presenting five monkeys with digitized images of familiar foods on a touch screen. Monkeys simultaneously viewed images of two different foods and learned that they would receive a piece of the one they touched first. After demonstrating that they would reliably select images of their preferred foods on one set of foods, animals were transferred to images of a second set of familiar foods. We assumed that if the monkeys recognized the images, they would spontaneously select images of their preferred foods on the second set of foods. Three monkeys selected images of their preferred foods significantly more often than chance on their first transfer session [Binomial Sign Test: N=24 trials, a=0.05]. The two other monkeys also selected images of their preferred foods more often than non-preferred foods in their first transfer session, but the frequency was not significantly greater than chance. Results indicate that macaques recognized the content of images containing food and categorized them according to personal preference. However not all animals demonstrated this ability, which should be taken into consideration when incorporating images into experimental designs.