Behav. Sci. 2014, 4(2), 87-101; doi:10.3390/bs4020087
Article

Insights into Intraspecies Variation in Primate Prosocial Behavior: Capuchins (Cebus apella) Fail to Show Prosociality on a Touchscreen Task

* email and email
Received: 11 December 2013; in revised form: 13 January 2014 / Accepted: 25 March 2014 / Published: 10 April 2014
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [544 KB, updated 17 April 2014; original version uploaded 10 April 2014]
Abstract: Over the past decade, many researchers have used food donation tasks to test whether nonhuman primates show human-like patterns of prosocial behavior in experimental settings. Although these tasks are elegant in their simplicity, performance within and across species is difficult to explain under a unified theoretical framework. Here, we attempt to better understand variation in prosociality by examining the circumstances that promote and hinder the expression of prosocial preferences. To this end, we tested whether capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella)—a species that has previously demonstrated prosocial preferences—would behave prosocially using a novel touchscreen task. In contrast to previous studies, we found that capuchins as a group did not prosocially deliver food to a partner. Importantly however, data from control conditions revealed that subjects demonstrated limited understanding of the reward contingencies of the task. We also compared individuals’ performance in the current study with their performance in a previously published prosociality study. We conclude by discussing how continuing to explore intraspecies variation in performance on prosocial tasks may help inform debates regarding the existence of other-regarding preferences in nonhuman species.
Keywords: prosociality; altruism; capuchins; non-human primates; donation tasks
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Export to BibTeX |
EndNote


MDPI and ACS Style

Drayton, L.A.; Santos, L.R. Insights into Intraspecies Variation in Primate Prosocial Behavior: Capuchins (Cebus apella) Fail to Show Prosociality on a Touchscreen Task. Behav. Sci. 2014, 4, 87-101.

AMA Style

Drayton LA, Santos LR. Insights into Intraspecies Variation in Primate Prosocial Behavior: Capuchins (Cebus apella) Fail to Show Prosociality on a Touchscreen Task. Behavioral Sciences. 2014; 4(2):87-101.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Drayton, Lindsey A.; Santos, Laurie R. 2014. "Insights into Intraspecies Variation in Primate Prosocial Behavior: Capuchins (Cebus apella) Fail to Show Prosociality on a Touchscreen Task." Behav. Sci. 4, no. 2: 87-101.

Behav. Sci. EISSN 2076-328X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert