Abstract # 3128 Poster # 193:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 18, 2011 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 23 (Salon G (Sixth Floor)) Poster Presentation


VISUAL ATTENTION TO SOCIAL PARTNERS IN CAPUCHIN MONKEYS

Y. Eshchar1, J. Crast2 and D. Fragaszy1
1University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA, 2University of California, Los Angeles, USA
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Visual attention to social partners is an important component of sociality in primates. Theoretically, visual attention can be influenced by a social partner’s identity and activity. Here, we investigated visual attention among eight adult male, pair-housed capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). The subjects’ visual attention to cagemates and non-cagemates was monitored under varying conditions, including partners’ mere presence, partner eating and partner and focal monkey eating, and foraging behavior. When in their home-cages, subjects spent on average less than three percent of their time looking at their cagemate. When given the choice of whom to look at in an experimental setting, subjects looked more frequently at non-cagemates than at cagemates (p < 0.05). Subjects also looked more frequently at partners that were eating, regardless of identity (p < 0.05). Our findings suggest that less familiar conspecifics and potential competitors may be the target of visual attention in many social situations. However, it is also possible that the long-term familiarity with cagemates led to an increase in attention to a relatively novel circumstance in the experimental setting of this study.