Abstract # 5848 Event # 37:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 13, 2014 04:00 PM-04:15 PM: Session 10 (Henry Oliver) Oral Presentation


EXAMINING CAPTIVE CHIMPANZEES’ NAVIGATIONAL DECISION-MAKING STRATEGIES IN VIRTUAL SMALL- AND LARGE-SCALE SPACE

F. L. Dolins1,2, C. R. Menzel2, C. G. Klimowicz3 and J. Kelley2
1Dept. of Behavioral Sciences, University of Michigan, Dearborn, Michigan 48128, USA, 2Language Research Center, Georgia State University, 3Center for Global and Intercultural Study, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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     Foraging primates localize resources across ecologically complex landscapes, exploiting feeding sites of varying spatial dimensions to balance navigational efficiency and energy costs with nutrient intake, seasonal availability, competition, and group size. Generation of navigational strategies and internal spatial representations in large- and small-scale space were predicted to differ by distance between landmarks, geometric features, and associations encoded; in small-scale space according to Poucet (1993) it was predicted that navigators would apply strategies based on metric maps as compared to large-scale space, which would be associated with topological mapping strategies. Comparing cross-species’ navigational strategies in environments of varied spatial scale, with multiple types of landmark information, presents significant methodological challenges. In order to address these challenges, this study compared captive chimpanzees’ (Pan troglodytes) and humans’ (Homo sapiens) Navigation in virtual environments that varied in scale but displayed parallel landmark information and goal + resource sites. Results indicate that both chimpanzee and human participants similarly applied topological strategies in both small- and large-scale space, not supporting predicted outcomes. Neither species demonstrated shifts in spatial strategy in relation to scale or resource location.