Social Learning in Pig-Tailed Macaques (Macaca nemestrina) and Adult Humans (Homo sapiens) on a Two-Action Artificial Fruit

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An artificial fruit (AF) was used to test for social learning in pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina) and adult humans (Homo sapiens). A monkey demonstrator opened the AF, showing alternative methods to 2 groups of cage mates. Video films of the monkey demonstrations were presented to adult humans. Compared with chimpanzees and children, the macaques watched the demonstrations significantly less and in a much more sporadic manner. They also produced only very weak and transitory evidence of social learning. In contrast, the adult humans performed as one might expect of optimum imitators, even producing evidence of components of a “ratchet effect.”

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