Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Payoff- and Sex-Biased Social Learning Interact in a Wild Primate Population


Bono, Axelle EJ; Whiten, Andrew; van Schaik, Carel; Krützen, Michael; Eichenberger, Franca; Schnider, Alessandra; van de Waal, Erica (2018). Payoff- and Sex-Biased Social Learning Interact in a Wild Primate Population. Current Biology, 28(17):2800-2805.e4.

Abstract

Social learning in animals is now well documented, but few studies have determined the contexts shaping when social learning is deployed. Theoretical studies predict copying of conspecifics gaining higher payoffs [1-4], a bias demonstrated in primates only in captivity [5]. In the wild, research has shown selective attention toward the philopatric sex, a group's stable core [6]. Here, we report the first rigorous experimental test of the existence of a payoff bias in wild primates and its interaction with the sex of the model. We created a payoff bias in which an immigrant alpha male in each of three groups of wild vervet monkeys received five times more food upon opening a foraging box than did the philopatric alpha female, whereas in two control groups, male and female models received the same amount of food. We tested whether this payoff asymmetry would override the previously documented selective learning from resident females. Group members were tested after having watched both models. When both models received the same amount of food, audience members copied the female model significantly more than the male model, confirming previous findings. However, when a marked payoff bias was introduced, male, but not female, vervet monkeys significantly more often copied the male model receiving a higher payoff. These results demonstrate behavioral flexibility in the dispersing sex in these primates and suggest that the philopatric sex can afford to be more conservative in their social learning. Our findings show that multiple social-learning biases can coexist and interact within the same species.

Abstract

Social learning in animals is now well documented, but few studies have determined the contexts shaping when social learning is deployed. Theoretical studies predict copying of conspecifics gaining higher payoffs [1-4], a bias demonstrated in primates only in captivity [5]. In the wild, research has shown selective attention toward the philopatric sex, a group's stable core [6]. Here, we report the first rigorous experimental test of the existence of a payoff bias in wild primates and its interaction with the sex of the model. We created a payoff bias in which an immigrant alpha male in each of three groups of wild vervet monkeys received five times more food upon opening a foraging box than did the philopatric alpha female, whereas in two control groups, male and female models received the same amount of food. We tested whether this payoff asymmetry would override the previously documented selective learning from resident females. Group members were tested after having watched both models. When both models received the same amount of food, audience members copied the female model significantly more than the male model, confirming previous findings. However, when a marked payoff bias was introduced, male, but not female, vervet monkeys significantly more often copied the male model receiving a higher payoff. These results demonstrate behavioral flexibility in the dispersing sex in these primates and suggest that the philopatric sex can afford to be more conservative in their social learning. Our findings show that multiple social-learning biases can coexist and interact within the same species.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
4 citations in Web of Science®
5 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

2 downloads since deposited on 01 Mar 2019
2 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Anthropology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Language:English
Date:1 September 2018
Deposited On:01 Mar 2019 07:07
Last Modified:17 Sep 2019 20:08
Publisher:Cell Press (Elsevier)
ISSN:0960-9822
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.06.015
PubMed ID:30174189
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID31003A_159587
  • : Project TitleSocial learning rules and their adaptive function in wild vervet monkeys

Download

Download PDF  'Payoff- and Sex-Biased Social Learning Interact in a Wild Primate Population'.
Preview
Content: Accepted Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 1MB
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)