Abstract # 7876 Event # 108:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2017 01:45 PM-02:00 PM: (National Ballroom Salon A) Oral Presentation


ORANGUTAN STRATEGIES FOR SOLVING A VISUOSPATIAL MEMORY TASK

C. F. Martin and R. W. Shumaker
Indianapolis Zoo, 1200 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46222, USA
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     The Concentration Game, in which players search for matching pairs among a grid of face-down cards, provides a robust platform for examining visuospatial memory in a simple, nonverbal way. Orangutans(n=5) at the Indianapolis Zoo were given a modified version of the game in which three cards were shown face-down on a computer screen, two of which matched while the third was a foil. Subjects overturned two cards at a time by touching them, with trials terminating in a food reward if the cards matched, or reverting face-down positions if they did not. A constraint was imposed on the game whereby the first two cards touched would never match, resulting in an optimal search strategy composed of touching the first two cards, followed by the third, followed by the card among the first two that matched the third. Findings showed that three of five subjects utilized the optimal search strategy more often than was expected by chance(binomial tests, p < .05), but also perseverated on specific patterns of choice sequences rather than flexibly adjusting behavior from trial to trial to minimize the overall number of card flips. The observed tendency of orangutans to rely on a prescriptive choice strategy instead of adaptively updating their solution in light of evidential developments is consistent with findings from prior studies on orangutan strategies for solving invisible displacement tasks.