Individual study: Social facilitation of exploratory foraging behavior in capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella)
Dindo M., Whiten A. & De Waal F. (2009) Social facilitation of exploratory foraging behavior in capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). American Journal of Primatology, 71, 419-426
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Primates: Feed individuals in social groups
A replicated, controlled study in 2009 in the USA (Dindo et al. 2009) reported that completion of an enrichment food task by capuchin monkeys Cebus apella took less time in social situations than when feeding alone, although no statistical tests were carried out. Monkeys with another nearby completed the trial three times faster (100 seconds) than solo monkeys (373 seconds). In each of two groups, 12 of 24 monkeys were randomly assigned to the solo condition and 12 to the social condition. One monkey was in the left side of the test chamber, and either the right remained empty (solo condition), or contained a second monkey with a cup of cereal and peanut butter (social condition). Each left-hand monkey was given food in a clear 28cm square box with a protruding wheel to turn, aligning a hole with a chute that released food into a cup. Each test was measured as the number of seconds it took from presentation of the apparatus to completion of 20 attempts. (CJ)