Sequential planning in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta)
- 223 Downloads
In the current study, we examined the planning abilities of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) by training them on a five-item list composed of coloured photographs and then testing them on switch and mask trials. In contrast to previous studies where monkeys made responses using a joystick, in the current study, monkeys made responses directly to a touch screen. On switch trials, after a response to the first list item, the on-screen positions of two list items were exchanged. Performance on trials in which the second and third list items were exchanged was poorer compared to normal (non-switch) trials for all subjects. When the third and fourth items were exchanged, however, only one subject continued to show performance deficits. On mask trials, following a response to the first item, the remaining items were covered by opaque white squares. When two items were masked, all four subjects responded to each masked item at a level significantly above chance. When three items were masked, however, only one subjected was able to respond to all three masked items at a level significantly above chance. The results of the present study indicate that three of our four monkeys planned one response ahead while a single monkey planned two responses ahead. The significance of these findings is discussed in relation to previous studies on planning in chimpanzees and monkeys.
KeywordsPlanning Serial order Simultaneous chain
This study was supported in part by a Fulbright Ministry of Research, Science and Technology award to D. Scarf and a University of Otago Research Committee Postgraduate Publishing Bursary to D. Scarf.
- Brannon EM, Terrace HS (2000) Representation of the numerosities 1–9 by rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). J Exp Anal Behav 26:31–49Google Scholar
- Brannon EM, Cantlon JF, Terrace HS (2006) The role of reference points in ordinal numerical comparisons by rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). J Exp Anal Behav 32:120–134Google Scholar
- Devine JV, Burke MW, Rohack JJ (1979) Stimulus similarity and order as factors in visual short-term memory in nonhuman primates. J Exp Anal Behav 5:335–354Google Scholar
- Haber RN (1979) Twenty years of haunting eidetic imagery: where’s the ghost? Behav Brain Sci 2:583–629Google Scholar
- Jaensch ER (1930) Eidetic imagery and typological methods of investigation. Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., LondonGoogle Scholar
- Kawai N (2001) Ordering and planning in sequential responding to Arabic numerals by a chimpanzee. Psychologia 44:60–69Google Scholar
- Meyer DR, Treichler FR, Meyer PM (1965) Discrete-trial training techniques and stimulus variables. In: Schrier AM, Harlow HF, Stollnitz F (eds) Behavior of nonhuman primates, vol 1. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Scarf D, Colombo M (2009) Eye movements during list execution reveal no planning in monkeys (Macaca fascicularis). J Exp Anal Behav 35:587–592Google Scholar
- Terrace HS (1984) Simultaneous chaining: the problem it poses for traditional chaining theory. In: Herrnstein RJ, Wagner A (eds) Quantitative analyses of behavior. Ballinger Publishing Co., CambridgeGoogle Scholar