Abstract # 75:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 21, 2012 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 9 (Gardenia) Poster Presentation


CONCURRENT SPATIAL RELATIONS CHALLENGE TUFTED CAPUCHIN MONKEYS (SAPAJUS APELLA) AND COMMON CHIMPANZEES (PAN TROGLODYTES) DURING OBJECT ALIGNMENT

L. T. LaCour1, B. W. Stone1, C. Menzel2 and D. M. Fragaszy1
1University of Georgia, Dept of Psychology, Athens, GA 30602, USA, 2Georgia State University
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     Using a hand tool involves producing particular spatial relations between the tool and another object or surface. Likewise, aligning an object with a surface also involves producing particular spatial relations. Gibsonian perception-action theory predicts that managing two spatial relations simultaneously in an alignment problem is more difficult than managing one relation, or managing two relations sequentially. We presented 6 captive tufted capuchin monkeys and 6 captive chimpanzees with stick objects to insert into matching grooves in a flat tray. Inserting a straight stick required managing one relation; inserting two sticks required managing two relations. Two grooves were presented parallel to each other or as a separated T (sequential placement), or as a joined T (concurrent placement). We found that subjects of both species required significantly more attempts to insert the joined T than the straight stick, replicating previous findings. We also found that all subjects needed more attempts to insert the joined T than the parallel sticks, but not the separated T. Our findings provide strong evidence that managing two concurrent spatial relations is more challenging to non-human primates than managing two sequential relations. The findings imply that non-human primates are more likely to use tools to produce a single spatial relation at a time, thus restricting the problems they will solve using tools. Supported by HD060563 and HD056352 to Georgia State University.