Exploring How White-Faced Sakis Control Digital Visual Enrichment Systems
Department of Computer Science, Aalto University, 02150 Espoo, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Péter Pongrácz
Received: 11 December 2020
Revised: 25 January 2021
Accepted: 29 January 2021
Published: 20 February 2021
Many zoo-housed primates use visual computer systems for enrichment but little is known about how monkeys would choose to control these devices. Here we investigate what visual enrichment white-faced saki monkeys would trigger and what effect these videos have on their behaviour. To study this, we built an interactive screen device that would trigger visual stimuli and track the sakis’ interactions when using the system. Over several weeks, we found that the sakis would trigger underwater and worm videos significantly more than animal, abstract art and forest videos, and the control condition of no-stimuli. Further, the sakis triggered the animal video significantly less often over all other conditions. Yet, viewing their interactions over time, the sakis’ usage of the device followed a bell curve, suggesting novelty and habituation factors. As such, it is unknown if the stumli or devices novelty and habituation caused the changes in the sakis interactions over time. These results also indicated that the different visual stimuli conditions significantly reduced the sakis’ scratching behaviour with the visual stimuli conditions compared to the control condition. Further, the usage of visual stimuli did not increase the sakis’ looking at and sitting in front of the screen behaviours. These results highlight problems in defining interactivity and screen usage with monkeys and screens from looking behaviours and proximity alone.