[BERG] FW: Friday Seminar by Erica van de Waal on social learning in primates

Hannah Buchanan-Smith h.m.buchanan-smith at stir.ac.uk
Wed Nov 5 13:13:33 GMT 2014

Seminar of interest in St Andrews this Friday (7th) at 3:30pm in the Old Library.

Dr Erica van de Waal will deliver a talk titled:

Field experiments reveal the scope of social learning in vervet monkeys

Please read below for further details....Hannah

From: Andrew Whiten [mailto:aw2 at st-andrews.ac.uk]
Sent: 05 November 2014 11:28
To: Christopher Templeton; Emily Messer; McGuigan, Nicola; Patrick; Andrew Whalen; Amy Deacon; Anne Magurran; Ana Navarrete Rodriguez; Ann Smet; Alice Cowie; Amanda Lucas; Alina Loth; Amanda Seed; Andy Gardner; Kagari Aoki; Amanda Stansbury; Barbara Klump; Benjamin Turnbull; Braulio Leon-Lopez; Bethany Roberts; Cara Evans; Camille Troisi; Charlotte Brand; Charlotte Cure; Camille Coye; Clare; Catherine Hobaiter; Catharine Cross; Carolina Mayer; Christian Rutz; Carl Smith; Christopher Templeton; Cedric Zimmer; Daniel van der Post; Daphna Buchsbaum; Dan Cownden; Darren Parker; David Pritchard; David Shuker; Deborah Russell; Emma Blackburn; Eira Ihalainen; Emma-Louise Bryant; Elena Miu; Emily; Esmeralda Quiros Guerrero; Emily Burdfield-Steel; Emily Burdett; Erica van de Waal; Elisabeth Greenway; Elisabeth Greenway; Filipa Samarra; Gavin Ballantyne; Gordon Hastie; Georgina Glaser; Gillian Vale; Grant Brown; Gillian Brown; Heather Anderson; Helen Cunnold; Helene Cochet; Ida Bailey; Iain Matthews; Jefferson Graves; Jessica van der Wal; Jonathan Gordon; Jennifer Botting; James Ounsley; James St Clair; Kate Arnold; Kirsty Graham; Kalliopi-Charitomeni Gkikopoulou; Katherine Dickerson; Katherine Meacham; Kate Morgan; Keelin Murray; Kevin Laland; Kaitlin Palmer; Klaus Zuberbuhler; Lara Wood; Dollbaum, Lea Johanna; Luke Rendell; Lewis Dean; Livio Favaro; Lindsay Wilson; Luca Lamoni; Lauren Guillette; Charlotte Dunn; Liam Dougherty; Lorraine Wilson; Marina; Maria Tello Ramos; Michael Emmerson; Michael Ritchie; Michaela Roberts; Michal Arbilly; Mark Johnson; Miguel Neves Dos Reis; Murillo Pagnotta; Michelle Young; Tomoko Narazaki; Neeltje Boogert; Nicola Cook; Nora Carlson; Nigel Kenworthy; Nathan Bailey; Olga Filatova; Patricia Willmer; Patricia Arranz Alonso; Peter Slater; Puja Singh; Peter Tyack; Patrick Miller; Philip Shaw; Peter Tyack; Mara Casalini; Rebecca Boulton; Rachel Harrison; Ruoting Tao; Richard Byrne; Sarah Deventer; Sara Tavares; Susan Healy; Sumir Keenan; Sascha Hooker; Sonja Heinrich; Sarah Davis; Stacy DeRuiter; Stephanie King; Silvana Neves; Sally Street; Shoko Sugasawa; Samuel Ivande; Stuart Watson; Tilen Genov; Thomas Gotz; Verena Dietrich-Bischoff; Vincent Janik; Will Cresswell; Yannis Papastamatiou; Zachary Hall
Cc: Alexander Weiss (alex.weiss at ed.ac.uk); Anthony Little; Christine Caldwell; Craig Roberts; Cunningham, Clare (c.cunningham at abertay.ac.uk); Hannah Buchanan-Smith; Hardie, Scott (S.Hardie at abertay.ac.uk); James Anderson; Lusseau, David (d.lusseau at abdn.ac.uk); Phyllis Lee; Sarah Vick
Subject: Friday Seminar by Erica van de Waal on social learning in primates

Dear All (BDG List and SPRG Core) - I think many of you may be interested in this talk here on Friday - it will be based on the Tinbergen prize lecture Erica gave earlier at the European Conference on Behavioural Biology, but updated and expanded ...
We will go for a meal in Zizzi's at 6.30 so do please either sign up on the sheet I am putting in the Psych mail room, or email me to let me know - Andy W.

This week's Seminar will take place this Friday (7th) at 3:30pm in the Old Library.

Dr Erica van de Waal will deliver a talk titled:

Field experiments reveal the scope of social learning in vervet monkeys

Behavioural tradition has been an active topic in animal behaviour since the renowned Japanese macaque studies of half a century ago, yet controlled field experiments to clearly identify social learning in the wild began only recently. This talk describes a series of social learning experiments with our population of vervet monkeys in South Africa, which have now been studied for seven years. We follow over a hundred monkeys in several neighbouring groups.

In an experiment with wild vervet monkeys, Chlorocebus aethiops, inspired by the famous Japanese macaque food cleaning study, we found that naïve vervet monkey infants copy variations in how their mother handle sandy fruits. In a complementary study we adapted an established laboratory experimental paradigm to create 'artificial fruits' to test for copying of different actions. Earlier we demonstrated social learning from high ranking female models of which part of such a 'fruit' to forage from; now, we used a new artificial fruit ('vervetable') which can be opened either be sliding a door to the side or instead pulling it open. This thus tests for matching of the action used to access the reward inside.  Pilot tests on four semi-captive vervet groups showed significant similarity to the technique initially demonstrated, both overall and on the first trial. Here we present 'vervetable' results for wild vervets, including identification of the social rules of whom to learn from and its broad implications for cultural transmission. In a further experiment, we showed experimentally that wild vervet monkeys will abandon personal foraging preferences in favour of group norms new to them. Groups first learned to avoid the bitter-tasting alternative of two foods. Presentations of these options untreated months later revealed all new infants naïve to the foods adopting maternal preferences. Moreover, males migrating between groups where the alternative food was eaten switched to the new local norm. Such powerful effects of social learning represent a more potent force than hitherto recognized in shaping group differences among wild animals. Our follow up studies have revealed that the time spent eating the local preference correlates with rank in adult females. Is it due to low ranked females being under pressure to be more exploratory? Or is it due to limited access to their preferred colour, as more dominant individuals monopolize it? We were able to test these hypotheses in our population because two group splits occurred, with three low ranking females leaving their origin group, to create their own group and became then alpha, beta and gamma in it. A significant change in foraging preference, converging on that of the previous dominant monkeys in their origin group, was observed after the group split, indicating how biased transmission may lead to population level traditions

As normal, the Seminar will be followed by an informal wine reception which all are welcome to attend.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.stir.ac.uk/pipermail/berg/attachments/20141105/e4bd0a95/attachment.html>

More information about the BERG mailing list