Abstract # 45:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 13, 2014 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 11 (Decatur B) Poster Presentation


S. E. Haverly and P. G. Judge
Program in Animal Behavior, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA 17837, USA
     Tool-use requires the manipulation of an object in the environment to achieve a goal, and the ability to relate one object to another. We used a two-choice tool task to test for comprehension of tool use in three lion-tailed macaques. First, we investigated their comprehension of tool-object relations by presenting a choice between two hook-shaped tools, one of which was baited with a food reward inside the hook (the correct choice) and the other had the reward outside the hook. Two of the three subjects reached criterion (10 out of 12 correct, in 2 consecutive sessions) in 20 sessions, and the third reached criterion in 40 sessions. The second experiment introduced parabola-shaped tools to test whether the subjects could generalize to new tools. All subjects reached criterion in 12 sessions. The third experiment introduced barriers to determine if animals understood the relation between a tool, an object (the reward) and another object in the environment. Subjects needed to choose the tool that was not impeded by a barrier. Two of the three subjects reached criterion in 50 sessions, and the third did not reach criterion in 50 sessions. Results indicated that lion-tailed macaques understood the causal relations between tools and the objects on which they were acting. The design provided a standardized means to compare tool use comprehension across many primate species.