Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/15645
Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: A sex difference in effect of prior experience on object-mediated problem-solving in gibbons
Authors: Cunningham, Clare
Anderson, James
Mootnick, Alan
Contact Email: j.r.anderson@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: Gibbons
Object experience
Problem-solving
Sex differences
Issue Date: Jul-2011
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Cunningham C, Anderson J & Mootnick A (2011) A sex difference in effect of prior experience on object-mediated problem-solving in gibbons, Animal Cognition, 14 (4), pp. 599-605.
Abstract: Understanding the functionally relevant properties of objects is likely facilitated by learning with a critical role for past experience. However, current evidence is conflicting regarding the effect of prior object exposure on acquisition of object manipulation skills. This may be due to the influence of life history variables on the capacity to benefit from such experience. This study assessed effect of task-relevant object exposure on object-mediated problem-solving in 22 gibbons using a raking-in task. Despite not using tools habitually, 14 gibbons spontaneously used a rake to obtain a reward. Having prior experience with the rake in an unrewarded context did not improve learning efficiency in males. However, females benefitted significantly from the opportunity to interact with the rake before testing, with reduced latencies to solution compared to those with no previous exposure. These results reflect potential sex differences in approach to novelty that moderate the possible benefits of prior experience. Due to their relatively high energetic requirements, reproductively active females may be highly motivated to explore potential resources; however, increased investment in developing offspring could make them more guarded in their investigations. Previous exposure that allows females to learn of an object's neutrality can offset this cautious exploration.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/15645
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10071-011-0380-y
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: University of Abertay
Psychology
Gibbon Conservation Center, USA

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