Live-Social-Video Reward Maintains Joystick Task Performance in Bonnet Macaques

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A number of studies have now indicated that monkeys of several species will perform hundreds of food-rewarded joystick tasks on a daily basis. Our goal in this study was to identify the level of joystick task performance that could be maintained by 10 sec. of live, color video of a conspecific social group contingent upon the completion of a joystick task. The subjects were five individually housed bonnet macaques that were highly experienced on joystick tasks. Performance with social-video reward was compared to that maintained by a 190-mg banana-flavored pellet reward and to a nonreward condition. Comparable levels of task activity were maintained by both video and pellet reward, whereas task activity nearly ceased in the absence of reward. Four of the five monkeys increased their levels of task activity between the first and second weeks of social-video reward.

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