Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Full metadata record
DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorRenner, Elizabethen_UK
dc.contributor.authorAtkinson, Marken_UK
dc.contributor.authorCaldwell, Christine A.en_UK
dc.description.abstractWe aimed to study whether a non-human primate species responded differently to information acquired socially compared with that acquired individually. To do so, we attempted to train squirrel monkeys to perform binary discriminations. These involved exposure to either social information (human or puppet demonstrator performs an initial 'information trial') or individual exploration (monkey performs information trial as well as subsequent test trials). In Experiment 1, we presented the task on a touchscreen tablet. Only one monkey appeared to learn the significance of the information trial, and across the group there was no improvement in performance over sessions. The proficient individual showed little evidence of successful transfer to three-way discrimination problems, suggesting limited representation of the task structure. In Experiment 2, we used a logically identical task, presented as a physical object choice (inverted cups concealing a food reward). No monkeys learned to use the information trial cues, and success again did not increase over sessions. We concluded that the monkeys' poor performance in Experiment 1 was not attributable to the mode of presentation (touchscreen), but reflected real difficulties with mastering the task structure. For both experiments, we analysed the monkeys' spontaneous responses to the different trial types (social-win, social-lose, individual-win, and individual-lose). We found that monkeys had a tendency to repeat selections made during the information trial, whether these were made by themselves or by a demonstrator. This tendency to repeat was observed even following lose trials (i.e. when incorrect). Apparent 'success' following win trials was probably largely an artefact of behavioural inertia (individual learning conditions) and stimulus enhancement (social learning conditions), rather than sensitivity to the reward cues associated with that stimulus. Although monkeys did respond somewhat differently (more repeats) following win trials, compared with lose trials, this was no more apparent in the object choice task than the touchscreen task, again suggesting that the less ecologically valid presentation medium did not actively disrupt potential for learning the discrimination rule. Both touchscreen and physical object choice tasks appear to be valid methods to study learning in squirrel monkeys, with neither method giving a clear performance advantage over the other. However, this population did not master the contingencies in these tasks.en_UK
dc.relationRenner E, Atkinson M & Caldwell CA (2019) Squirrel monkey responses to information from social demonstration and individual exploration using touchscreen and object choice tasks. PeerJ, 7, p. e7960.
dc.rightsCopyright 2019 Renner et al. Distributed under Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 (
dc.subjectGeneral Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biologyen_UK
dc.subjectGeneral Neuroscienceen_UK
dc.subjectGeneral Agricultural and Biological Sciencesen_UK
dc.subjectGeneral Medicineen_UK
dc.titleSquirrel monkey responses to information from social demonstration and individual exploration using touchscreen and object choice tasksen_UK
dc.typeJournal Articleen_UK
dc.type.statusVoR - Version of Recorden_UK
dc.contributor.funderEuropean Commission (Horizon 2020)en_UK
dc.relation.funderprojectThe Cog in the Ratchet: Illuminating the Cognitive Mechanisms Generating Human Cumulative Cultureen_UK
dc.relation.funderrefGrant Agreement no 648841en_UK
Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Renner et al. 2019 Squirrel monkey info use.pdfFulltext - Published Version8.36 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

A file in this item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.