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Stephenson (1966) - Cultural Acquisition of a Specific Learned Response Among Rhesus Monkeys

Stephenson (1966) - Cultural Acquisition of a Specific Learned Response Among Rhesus Monkeys

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Max-Planck-Institut fiirPsychiatrie,
Miinchen
A
New
Tclestimulation Technique for the Study
of
Social Behavior
of
the Squirrel
Monkey
MANFRED
MAUR
USSpeciflc behavior elements
and
reactions such
as
vocalization, orientation, affectivereactions, genital responses,urination,salivation, changes
in
EKG, breathingfrequency,
and
hippocampalactivity
andmotoric
responsescouldbeelicited
in
various
com
)I
binations
by
electrical
br
ain stimulation.
Some
of
thesereactions are
import
a
nt
el
e
~I
ments
of
sociallvsignilicantbehavior.In ordcr toinvestigate suchquestions
as
can socialbehavior bcelicited
by
stimulation
l!
of
specificbrain structures
and
if
so,
how
stimulated
and
non-stimulatedanimalsreact
I
within theirsocial
group
in
various situations,all animals
must
be free
moving.
In
addition,
it
is
important
thatareceiving device does
not
produce
major
changesin
i 
I
appearance
of
theanimals.
q
A
remotecontrol
receiver including batteries
that
can be
worn on
the head
of
a500gto 900g animal
with
abrain
weight
of
26
g must besmalland lightweight. In
order
toreduceelectrolytic brain lesions
from
repeatedstimulationit
is
necessary touse a biphasic pulse.
An
apparatus
which
fulfills these basicrequirements
will
be described.
Two
independent transmitters control the negative
and
positive pulse, respectively,
of
abiphasicstimulus
of
thecalibratedreceiver.
The
transmittersare controlled
by
squarewave generators.Each pulse lasts
as
long
as
theappropriatetransmitter runs,thus frequency, pulse duration, train
durationand
pulse delaycanbeentirely
con
trolledatthe transmitter.
The
amplitudemust, forthetime being, be manuallyset
on
the receiver
but
is
ind
e
pendent
of
the field strength.Full currentflowsovertheelec trodes
only
when
the fleld
is
above
the
minimum
operatinglevel
of
the receiver.otherwisethere
is
no
measurable curre
nt
flow. Leakage
current
of
theentirereceiver
is
ca.
4mA.
The
life fora set
of
batteries
is
about
oneyear.
The
batteries lastca. 100hrs.
with
continuousbiphasicstimulati
on
(30cps,
I
ms pulse duration
and
maximum
ampli
tud
e
).
The
entirereceiver including batteries, battery
cas
eand
twenty-pole plug
forelectrodeconnections weighs ca.
II
g.
:
'I
Departmmt
of
Zoology
,
University
of Wisconsin Madison, Wisconsin53706 
Cultural Acquisition
of
aSpecifIc Learned Response 
Among
Rhesus Monkeys 
GORDON
R.
STEPHENSON"
A.
Introduction
K
AWAMURA
\1959)
and
later
KAWAI
(
19
63),
in
their discussion
of
field studies
ofJapa
nesemacaques,describedbehaviors
which
werepeculiar
to
certain troops
of
th
esemonkeys.
Food
habits,usually learned
by
infants
from
their mothers,
were
found tobespecificforeachtroop.
Within
atroop, there
may
besub-populations
which
exhibitparticular habits.
For
example.
in
1956,females
and
juveniles
of
the provisionedKoshima
troop
exhibitedSweet
Potato
Washing Behavior,whileperipheraladolescent males did not.
KAWAI
(1965) suggeststhatreduced socialinteraction between these parts
of
the
troop
makes
it
unlikelytheseperipheral
ma
l
es
will
acquireWashingBehavior. IrANI(1958)has referred to theabovebehaviors
as
culture
WASHB
U
RN
and
HAMBURG
(1965),
from
observations
by
DEVORE,
describean
in
cident
which
had
profound
andlong
term
effectsupon thesubsequentbehavior
of
members
of
a
baboon group.Prior to
theshooting
of
two
members, the
group could
easily beapproachedinacar.
The
authors
comment,
«
..
.
it
is
very
unlikelyalltheanimals
in
the
group
sawtheshooting .
..
»
but
eightmonths later this
group
«
..
.
stillc
ould
not
beapproached, even
though
the
animals must haveseen cars almostdailyin the interval
i
.
The
experience
of
some
of
theanimals
had
apparentlybecome
part
of
the
whole
group's behavior,an event suggestive
of
culturaltransmission.
JOSLIN,FL
E
TCHER
and
EM
LEN
(1965) examinedthe reactions
of
rhesus monkeys tosnakes.
They
found
that
wild-reared animals
wouldnot
reach
toward
alivesnake
or
snake-like
model
to retrieve afood reward,
while
lab-rearedanimals,
in
thesamesituation, showedlittle hesitancy
in
reaching for the reward.
In
explanation,theyproposed that,
in
thewild,
young
rhesus monkeys le
arn
to fear snakes
from
the reactions
of
oldermembers
of
th
e
troop
to
which
they
belong; lab-reared monkeys,
never
exposed
to
snakes
or
to
adultreactions
toward
snakes,
do
not
acquirethe response.
In
thisview,the transfer
of
information
underlying responses
of
the
wild-reared
monkeys
couldbe regarded
as
cultural
in
thesense
of
Itani.I
regard
culture
as
the
constellation
of
behaviorscharacteristic
of
a single social
group
,behaviors
which
aretransgenerational
and
sociallylearned
by
individuals
as
members
of
the
group
.
The
present
report
describesan
attempt
to
apply controlledlaboratory methods toa social learning situation suggested
by
the
abovefieldand
 
2~O
GORDON
R.
STEPHENSON
laboratoryobservations.
My
particularinterest was
whether
the learnedavoidancebehavior
of
aconditioned
monkeytoward
aconditioning object could inducealasti
ng
effect
on th
ebehavior
of
a second
monkey toward
thatsame object.
My
warmestthanks
go
to Professor
JohnT.
EMLEN
for discussionand guidance
which ledto
posing the question, toProfessor
Harry
F.
HARLOW
,
Dr.
Bruce K.
ALEXAN
DER
and personnel
of
the
Primat
eLaboratory,
Department
of
Psychology, University
of
Wisconsin, for guidance
in
expeditingthe study, andto
my
wife, Gayle,for assistanceingathering the data and patienceduringtheir analysis.
B.
Method
l.
Subjects
Eight
lab-rearedrhesus monkeys
(4
ma
l
es
and
4
femal
es,
Macaca
lI1u
l
atta)
ab
out
Cluee
years
of
ageserved
as
subjects.T
hey had
beenraised
with
their
mo
thers
andhad
had
much
playexperience
with
each
other
during their first
2%
years
of
life. Primate
> 
Laboratorypersonnelregarded
them
as
socially normal.
No
conditioning experiments
tI,
had
been performed
on
these subjects
prior to the
studyreportedhere.
-.1,
l.
I
1j!
I
2.
Apparatus
I
Subjects
were
taken
by
transportcage from theirseparate
home
cages
in
colonyrooms
to
the apparatus (Fig.
r)
in
the testing room.
White
noise masked most
of
the
~
~
I
extraneous noisesinthe test environment. Observations
of
eachsubject'sbehavior
in
h
:
the
presence
of
anobject
weremade through
a one-way
window
andrecorded continuously
with
akeyboardactivating
nine
channels
of
anEsterline-Angus recorder.
Data
recordedwerelocation
of
thesubject andtheobject
in
the apparatus,incidence
of
vocalization,andincidence andduration
of
visualexploration, ambulation, stereotypic movements,
and
manipulation
of
theobject.
When two
subjects wereobservedat once, atrained assistant simultaneously recorded the secondsubject'sbehavior
with
similar keyboard. Generalcomments
and
impressionswere
noted
at theend
of
each
seSSIOn.
Only
the data formanipulation
of
objects areconsidered
in
this report.Manipula tion ranged
from
apparently passive contact
of
thesubject's
handwith
the object, toactiveinvestigation,including
mouthing
andchewing.Objects
were
plastic kitchenutensils(seive, cup, mustardjar,etc.)
of
different sizes
and
colors;allelicitsimilar responses
from
the subjects under similarcircumstances.
3.
ProcedureSubiectswereassigned
to
unisexual pairs.Each subject,eitheralone withanobject,
or
togetherwithitspartnerandanobject,wasobserved
111
sessions
of
[5
minutesduration. Atotal
of
45
test and control sessionswasconducted
with
eachsubject.
The
critical testsequences
were
towardsthe end
of
thIS
series andcontained four sessions
as
follows:
Cultural
AcqUIsition
of
aSpecificLearned Response
Among
Rhesus
Monk
eys
28
1
OBJECr
AIR
JET
Fig.
r:
Steelcage
is
which
allsessions
were
conducted.
The
7x
2X2
ft.angle-ironframewas covered
with
heavyduty hardware
cloth exceptforoneside
of
steel slats.
Prior
to a
su~ject's
entryinto
the test
room
and
apparatus,oneobjectwasplaced
on
the'
board
at
the
masonite
end
I.
One
subject
of
a pair,while alone
in
the apparatus, was punishedwithanair blasteachtime
it
started
to
manipulate
an
object.
Two
or
threeairblasts generally sufficed to terminateallmanipulation tendenci
es
toward
thisobject.
2.
This subject
was
again observed alone withthe object
to
test forretention
of
thelearned response.
The
subject,
now
a«demonstrator,»was observed
with
its naive partner
in
thepresence
of
theconditioning object.
No
airblasting was done.
The
naivesubject wasobservedwhilealone
with
its partner's conditioningobject.
The
remaining sessionswereconducted
to
gathercontroldata.
An
initial block
of
r6 sessionsservedto habituate subjects
t()
thetestapparatus andprocedure,to determine themanipulationtendency
of
eachindividual,
and
to determinethe effect
of
socialinteractIOn
on
anindividual's manipulation tendency.Subjects were exposed
to
eitherObject
I
or
toObject
2
in thesesessions.A subjectwas exposed to Object
I
onlywhenalone
inth
eapparatus and wasexposed toObject
2
both
alone andwhen together
with
its partner.Eachsubject
had
four
seSSIOns
with
Object
L
six sessions alone
with
Object
2,
and
six sessions together
with
its partnerandObject
2.
 
GORDON
R.
STEPHENSON
82
To
control for the possibility
of
daily variation inasubject's tendency to manipulate
an
object,andfor any changes
in
this tendency during the three months
of
study,eachsubject wasobservedwhilealone
with
Object
I
in
13
sessions systematicallyscheduled
throughth
e entireperiod
of
study,
both
beforeand after thecritical testsessions.Eight
of
these sessions were scheduled
so
that each subject was
in
asinglesessionandall
of
thesubjects
had
theirsession
on
thesameday.
To
controlfor changes in theeffect
of
thepresence
of
asecond subjectonasubject's manipulation tendency,additionalcontrol data about eachsubject were gathered
in two
sessionsalone
with
Object
2
andfoursessionstogether with its
partner and
Object 2scheduled
over
the remainder
of
the
,tud
y.
To
determine theeffect
of
novelty
per
se
on
asubject'smanipulationtendencyand
th
e
po
ss
ible effects
of
itsreactions
tonov
elty ona
sec
ond
subjec
t'
s manipulation te
nd
ency,the sequence
of
foursessionslistedabove
as
the critical test sequencr was
fIrSt
runwithout
reinforcement
as
acontrolseries.Thiswasfollowed
withintwo
weeks
by
thetestseries inwhich the
no
vel o
bj
ect was reinforced for the demonstrator subjectw
ith
ablast
of
air
as
described above.
To
increase the
number
of
tests
of
transfer
of
information,the respective roles
of
>: 
subject
A
a
nd
B
of
apair were assigned and conductedin one
way
and then reversed
°1 
(SetsIandII
in
Fig. 2a).Thisprocedurewasfollowed for
both
the novelty(non-reinforced control series)andthe reinforcedobjecttestssenes (Fig.2
b)
.
Fig.
2:
Sequence
of
Sessions
with
Novel
Objects
a)
Control:Response
to
a
NovelObject
Set ISet II
..
_
---
AAA+BBB BB+AAalonealone
together
aloneal
one
alone
together
alone
--
_.
__
.
__
..
Object
3 
Object
4b)
Test:
Transmission
of
aLearned
Response
Toward
a
Novel
Obj
e
ct
SetI Set II
A
A
A+B
B
B
B
B+A
A
alone* alone
together
alone alone* alone
together
alone
Object
5 
Obj
ect 6*air blast
when
the
subject
attempt
sto
manipulate
the object.Fig. 2:
Format
of
sequences
of
sessions
with
novel
objects for allpairs
of
subjects.
(a)
In
th
e
control
sequence, subjects
wer
e
put
withnon-reinforced novel
objects.(b)
In
the
testsequence,
the
demonstratOrsubjectw
as
punished
with
airblastsat
the
moment
it
wa
s
about
to
touchthe
object.Sincethe
demonstrator did
not
attemptto manipulate
theobject
during
itssecond sess
ion
w
ith
it,
nofurther
airblasts
were
administered,
andthe demonstrator
was considered successfully
condition
ed
toavoid
thisspecific object
Cultural
Acquisition
of
aSpecific
Learned Response
Among
Rhesu
s
Monke
ys
2
83
C.
Results
1.
Control
data
In
the inItial block
of
r6 sessions,males mampulatect8.
5%
andfemalesmal11pulated35.4
%
of
the total
time
available.Averages
ov
erthisblock for individual males ranged
from
2.5%
to
12
.9%andfor individual females
from
22
.
4%
to
58.1%.Thissexdifference in manipulation tendencieswasmaintained
throughout
the studyAsubject'smanipulation tendency, relative
to
the tendencies
of
the
other
subject'>.
remainedsimilar. session
to
session,
throughout
thestudy.Subjectswereranked
tor
their
amount
of
manipulation
in
each
of
the tensessionsin the initial blockwhile alone w
ith
ei
th
erObject
I
or
Object
::..
Concordance-
of
these rankingsw
as
tested by theKendall
method
(Siegel,
19
5
6)
and wasfoundSignificant
(p
<
0.01).Rankings
of
subjects
in
each
of
eight
of
the remaining
13
sessions alone
with
Objectralso showedconcordance
(p
<
o.or).
While
therewasdailyvariation
H1
a subject smanipulatIOn tendency,each subject te
nded
to have its
high
and
low
amounts
of
manipulation
on
the same daysthat the othersubjects
hadth
eir respectivehighs
and
lows
Ten
sessions
of
each subiect whenalone
with
Object
I
were
ranked for
amount
of
mal11pulatlon.Concordance
of
theserankings for all
of
thesubjects wasfound slgmflcant
(p
<
o.or).
Th
emanipulation tendency
of
a subjectw
as
afTected
by
the presence
of
~
secondsubject.FemalesmanipulatedObject 2abouttwice
as
muchwhen
together(62.7%)
as
whenalone
(30
.1%).Individually,everyfemalemanipulatedObject 2
mor
e
when
withits partner than
wh
en alone.MalesmanipulatedObject2
morewhen
togetherwithanother subject (11.4°'
0)
than
when
alone (7.6%).
As
individuals,
two
males increasedand
two
males decreased their
amount
of
manipulation
when with
their partners
from
the
amount when
theywere alone
The
relative manipulation tendency
of
thesubjects
when
with
their partners did
not
differfrom that
when
alone.
The
rankings
of
subjectsfor total manipulation
of
Object2whilealone
and
whiletogetherwere very similar (Spearman
Rank
Correlation Coefficient
rs
=
0.95,
P
<
o.or). Subjects manipulated novel objects
more
than familiar
ob
ject
s.
When
allsessionsforeach subject whilealonewith anobjectwereranked for
amount
of
manipulation, thef
our
sessions
when
a subject was alone
with
anobjectfor the first time
were
not
uni
f
ormly
destributed
over
the ranking,
but
tended
to
be
in
the
high part
of
it
(X2
=
10.75,P
<
0.02).
When
together-sessionswereranked for
amount
of
manipulation, thedistribution
of
sessions
with
novelobjects was
more uniformover
the ranking.Subjects manipulated novel objects
more
of
theavailabletime
when
together
with
their partners than
when
alone. Femalesmanipulated such objects
65
.
7%
whento
gether and
38
.8%whilealone. Males manipulatedsuchobiects 38.7%
when
togetherand32.9%
when
alone.
Novelty
had
more
effect
on
males thanonfemales in
th
etogether-sessions.
Among
females,the percent
of
available time spentmanipulating was
about
the samefor novelobjects (65.7%)
as
for familiar objects(67.4%).
Among
males,novel objectsweremanipulated
more
(39.2~~)
than familiar objects (13.r%).

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