PSYC 355 Lecture Notes - Lecture 21: Japanese Macaque, Animal Culture, Primatology

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7 Apr 2015
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Lecture 21: Social Learning (Animal Culture)
Introduction
Evolution of Social Learning
Selectivity of Social Learning
Types of Social Learning
Examples of Social Learning
Learning Food and Mate Preferences
Learning to Use Objects
The Question of Culture
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Social Learning of Preferences
oFood Preferences
oLearning in the womb:
Rat pups prefer foods ingested by mothers when pregnant
Human infants prefer foods consumed by mothers in 3rd
trimester
oLearning after birth:
Flavors in milk
Rats sniffing each others’ breath  cinnamon or cacao
oOntogenic Adaptations- Golden Hamster
Serves an adaptive function at a certain time in development
Hamsters learn socially when very young, but this capability
disappears after they get older
oMate Preferences
Dugatkin Guppy study- 2 males, 1 observer female, 1 ‘free’ female
oObserver female preferred male who had received more attention
from the free female.
Quail
oFemales affiliate more with males if they’ve seen those males w
other females
oNot mimicking, works even with fake stuffed female quail, even if
it isn’t moving
oStimulus enhancement  just presence of another quail makes the
stimulus more interesting
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Frans deWaal: The Ape and the Sushi Master: Cultural Reflections of a
Primatologist
The Ape and the Sushi Master: Cultural Reflections of a Primatologist
oSushi making analogy (master and apprentice)
oExamples of culturally-transmitted behaviours: ‘knowledge and
habits acquired from others’
‘knowledge and habits acquired from others’
Difficult to weed out what’s being passed on through
genetics and what comes from learning b/c these species
live together for so long
oJapanese animal research…
Primatology (Japanese macaque)
Techniques & theories
Provisioning, naming
oProvisioning: Drive out to wild, dump a bunch
of food there, and sit there and watch them
Helps habituate animals to your
presence
oNaming: keep track of who’s who
Not as much human/animal dualism
Japanese research
Imanishi
oCriticized Western views
oAnimal culture
oIf individuals learn from one another, the group’s behaviour might
start to become different from other groups, creating a
characteristic culture.
Japanese Macaques and Potato Washing
oUsed provisioning technique. One female
(Imo) washed sand-covered potato in
water
oOver time, her potato-washing behaviour
started to spread
oNow, majority of monkeys on this island
wash their potatoes
oBehaviour spread slowly b/c Imo was low
status individual
Western criticism
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