Abstract # 15:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS OF SOCIAL INTERACTIONS DURING SPONTANEOUS CUP TOOL USE BY CAPTIVE-BORN ADULT FEMALE SQUIRREL MONKEYS (SAIMIRI SCIUREUS)

C. L. Buckmaster, K. J. Parker and D. M. Lyons
Stanford University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, 1201 Welch Rd MSLS P104, Palo Alto, CA 94305, USA
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     Behavior sampling was conducted to characterize spontaneous cup tool use by social-living female squirrel monkeys (N=20). Cup use involves using an object to contain food reduced by mouth into chewable pieces for eating. Of 63 cup use acts collected, 36% (N=23/63) included social interactions involving cup transfers between peers (monkeys=14, avg. acts/monkey=1.643 median=1, range=1,6). Analysis of video-captured cup transfers (N=15/23) revealed communicative signals such as mutual gaze, gaze alternation, and gesturing occurred during transfers. In humans and other primates such signals are thought to reflect non-verbal shared attention skills. Typical cup transfers involving communicative signals appeared as follows: 1) Monkey Ay approached cup-using peer Md, each watching the other. Md paused food-processing with the cup and made a release gesture, i.e., Md removed one hand from the cup and held it to the side of the cup. The two held mutual gaze as Ay grasped the cup and Md released it 2) Monkey Tw approached cup-using peer Ma. Tw alternated gaze from the cup, to Ma, then back to the cup, while making a 'requesting' gesture, i.e., Tw outreached her arm toward Ma and retracted it when Ma averted her gaze and body position in response. Tw grasped the cup when Ma redirected her gaze toward Tw. These observations suggest squirrel monkeys may share attention during cup tool transfers. Supported by NIMH and Pritzker Foundation.