Abstract # 4591 Poster # 180:

Scheduled for Friday, June 21, 2013 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 21 (SG Foyer ABC) Poster Presentation


CAN CAPUCHINS SOLVE THE FLOATING PEANUT TASK?

K. A. Phillips1,2, A. Abramo1 and E. Renner3
1Trinity University, Department of Psychology , San Antonio, TX 78212, USA, 2Texas Biomedical Research Center, 3The George Washington University
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     We investigated problem solving abilities of capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) via the ‘floating peanut task’, a task in which the subject must use creative problem solving to retrieve a treat from the bottom of a clear tube; this task is often solved by adding water to raise the treat. Eight capuchins were presented with the task, and allowed four trials. None of the subjects solved the task, indicating that no capuchin demonstrated insightful problem solving. The next step in our investigation was to test for emulation. Subjects observed a human model solve the task by pouring water from a cup into the tube, which brought the treat to the top of the tube, allowing it to be consumed. Subjects were then able to interact freely with an unfilled tube. While most subjects were unable to solve the task after viewing a demonstrator solve it, one subject did, in a unique way. Our results indicate that capuchins do not spontaneously solve the floating peanut task via insightful problem solving, which is similar to results obtained with great ape species. In addition, after the solution was shown, one capuchin was able to solve the task, which is also similar to results obtained with great apes.