The role of learning in chuck call recognition by squirrel monkeys (Saimiri Sciureus)

Brenda Mccowan, John D. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study explored the role of learning in the development of chuck call recognition in squirrel monkeys. We experimentally exposed subjects of four different age classes, under controlled conditions, to the chuck calls of genetically unrelated individuals of different social affinities. Using playback experimentation, we tested the hypothesis that subjects at different developmental stages respond preferentially to the chuck calls of genetically unrelated familiar social group companions when compared to those of unfamiliar individuals from outside of the social group. Results demonstrated that adults vocally respond preferentially to the chuck calls of familiar social group members. Subadults behaviorally respond preferentially to the chuck calls of close social associates within their social groups. Juveniles behaviorally responded more strongly to the playback of chuck calls arising from individuals within their colony when compared to the playback of 'silence.' Infants did not behaviorally or vocally respond preferentially to the chuck calls of close social associates or other social group members. These results demonstrate that learning plays a role in chuck call recognition in squirrel monkeys and may suggest that infants gradually learn to acoustically recognize social companions within their group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-300
Number of pages22
JournalBehaviour
Volume137
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2000

    Fingerprint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this