Abstract # 211:

Scheduled for Friday, June 19, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


J. R. Wombolt, J. K. McCree and N. G. Caine
California State University San Marcos, 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road, San Marcos, CA 92078, USA
     Primates have a suite of sensory and behavioral characteristics that allow them to quickly detect and react to snakes. Laboratory studies have shown that the sinusoidal shape of snakes is critical to their rapid detection, but few studies have addressed other perceptual characteristics of snakes that generate investigatory and defensive reactions. In a replication and extension of an earlier study, in which we found that patterns etched on sinusoidal shapes seem to be important in generating anti-predator reactions by marmosets, we tested the hypothesis that a scaled texture would be most salient in evoking visual inspection. Using a blind in which we could control exposure to the stimuli, we showed ten captive marmosets textured and un-textured snake-like (sinusoidal shaped) and control (triangle) stimuli. Data were analyzed with bootstrapped paired t-tests, alpha = .05. In agreement with the previous data, we found that the marmosets spent a significantly greater proportion of time visually inspecting snake-like stimuli (M=.20, SE=.05) than control stimuli (M=.15, SE=.04), and that textured snake-like stimuli generated significantly more looking time (M=.21, SE=.05) than the un-textured snake-like stimulus (M=.17, SE=.04). The starred and scaled snake-like stimuli evoked similar looking times and were more salient than the lined snake-like stimulus, but this comparison did not reach statistical significance. This suggests that marmosets are prone to paying attention to serpentine shapes that have complex texture.