Social Facilitation of Eating Familiar Food in Tufted Capuchins (Cebus apella): Does it Involve Behavioral Coordination?
- Cite this article as:
- Galloway, A.T., Addessi, E., Fragaszy, D.M. et al. Int J Primatol (2005) 26: 181. doi:10.1007/s10764-005-0729-7
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Social facilitation of eating familiar foods might serve to synchronize eating activities within groups. We aimed to assess whether capuchins (Cebus apella) are prompted to eat when observing other conspecifics eating a familiar food. Subjects were 8 male captive-born tufted capuchins. One pair of capuchins acted as demonstrators for the other 6 observer subjects. In the Experimental condition, the demonstrator pair was given fresh chow in addition to having access to the leftover food and ate continuously. In the Control condition, the demonstrator pair had access to food leftover from the morning feed and ate very little. The initiation of feeding by the demonstrator pair prompted the initiation of feeding behavior in the observers, and the latter ate significantly more of their leftovers in the Experimental than in the Control condition. The tempo ofthe social facilitation of eating familiar foods in capuchins supportisomorphic coordination, a process that occurs when one individual’s activity focuses the attention of another individual to the same activity, thereby increasing behavioral similarity in a group.