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Examination of Numerical Competence in Cotton-Top Tamarins (Saguinus oedipus)

Honor Student Examination of Numerical Competence in Cotton-Top Tamarins (Saguinus oedipus)

Department: Psychology
Symposium Year: 2013
Student(s): Tiffany Kennedy, Shayla Sowers
Faculty Mentor(s): Dr. Erica Kennedy

 

Many great ape species have been observed to have numerical competence, and to be able to discriminate between objects of varying quantities. However, the research on the numerical competence of monkey species, particularly New World monkey species, has been limited. To study this cognitive ability in a New World monkey species, pairs of cotton-top tamarins were presented with two food choices of different quantities and allowed to pick one. If they choose the greater quantity more frequently, then it can be suggested they may have numerical competence. We also examined the role that food preference played in the tamarins’ choices by presenting them with varying quantities of preferred and non-preferred food items.

 

 

 

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