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Chapter 5

Chapter 5 / Lecture 7

Life Sciences
Course Code
Brett Beston

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Avoid trial and error learning
Faster than individual learning
Doesn't end with the individual's death
Can spread rapidly through the population
Social Learning
Was the first one to wash the sweet potatoes in a
nearby stream. These potatoes were used by humans
to lure them to observe them
This washing behavior was a constant increase instead
of the expected rapid growth
Imo the monkey
The majority of them still don't wash them
But is this really social learning?
There could be human bias in this interpretation of
The humans could be intentionally throwing the potatoes
in the beach so they are encouraged to wash it or the
monkeys could be going in the water to play instead of
washing the sweet potatoes and by chance they potatoes
get washed as the monkeys hardly let go of food once they
acquire it.
Imo the monkey also introduced wheat washing to her pact
at the age of 4, but this spread less rapidly as monkeys are
not used to letting go of food once they grasp it
Introduced the stone-play (stacking up then knocking down
stones) to her pact at the age of 3
The scientists noticed that in 29 years only monkeys
younger than Glance playing and mostly only older females
Juveniles engaged in short bouts of stone play which
involved vigorous body actions, this pattern of behavior
supported the hypothesis of "motor training", meaning
stone play helped with the development of perceptual
Glance the Monkey
Chapter 5 Lecture 7
Saturday, October 29, 2011
11:32 PM
LIFE SCI 2D03 Page 1

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stone play helped with the development of perceptual
skills, neural and cognitive development
Adults on the other hand engaged in longer, but fewer
bouts of play showing deteriorating cognitive process
shown in again primates
Stone play is more common in captive populations of
monkeys as they have more "leisure time" since their food
is provided for them
Example: traits like hammering nuts and squashing
insects with leaves are seen in 2 out of the 4
populations of chimpanzees
This supports learning because if it was genetic then it
would be present in all population and not all
These studies are purely observational and not controlled
for in any way.
The blue tits ate the milk deposits from the top of the milk
In the beginning the reporting of "milk-bottle opening"
were low but then rapidly got larger, only for blue tits but
not for robins
The difference between robin and blue tits were then
observed was "social propagation"
Robins were observed to live isolated lives, only during
mating season then they would disperse and were very
Blue tits and Milk-bottle opening
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