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Examination of Time/Place Learning in Cotton-Top Tamarins (Saguinus oedipus)

Honor Student Examination of Time/Place Learning in Cotton-Top Tamarins (Saguinus oedipus)

Department: Psychology
Symposium Year: 2013
Student(s): Eric Hoffmaster
Faculty Mentor(s): Dr. Erica Kennedy

 

Although there has been much discussion of time-place learning in animal models, most research has focused on rats and pigeons. This study was the first to our knowledge to examine time-place learning in cotton-top tamarins, a New World primate species. Nine tamarins were presented with a wooden apparatus with 12 covered wells. A triangle and circle were randomly placed on the well covers to indicate the location of hidden food. The triangle represented the correct search location in the morning, while a circle represented the correct location in the afternoon. Success was measured by examining first search responses as a function of cue (triangle or circle) associated with the time of day. Preliminary analyses suggest that this is a difficult task for the tamarins, but that certain individuals are beginning to search in the correct location at levels above chance according to binomial tests (p<0.05). Data collection is ongoing and we hope to gain a better understanding of how tamarins process time-place associations with this research.

 

 

 

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