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Spatial constraints and regulatory functions in monkeys' (Cebus apella) search

By Carlo De Lillo, Marco Aversano, Elio Tuci and Elisabetta Visalberghi


This article was published as Journal of Comparative Psychology, 1998, Vol. 112, No. 4, pp. 353-362. It is available from:\ud only entryBy means of an apparatus featuring a set of suspended baited containers, search abilities of 4 capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) were evaluated. The experiment featured different spatial configurations of the search space. Results showed that monkeys exhaustively searched 9 containers spatially distributed as a 3 × 3 matrix, a cross, a line, or a circle. Search efficiency was higher when the search space featured either a linear or circular arrangement of containers. When faced with a linear arrangement of containers, the subjects developed principled search trajectories from 1 end to the other of the linear array. This behavioral regulation was independent from search efficiency as measured by the amount of visits to containers already explored. The data suggest that monkeys use either the travel distance or the cognitive costs associated with unprincipled travel trajectories as currency for regulation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved

Publisher: American Psychological Association
Year: 1998
DOI identifier: 10.1037/0735-7036.112.4.353
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