Memória relacional espacial e não-espacial associada ao forrageamento em macacos-prego (Cebus spp.) mantidos em cativeiro




Primates rely on spatial information to retrieve food resources. However, they might also rely on non-spatial representations of the environment to predict the location of resources and their seasonal availability. Therefore, the study was designed to assess spatial and non-spatial relational memory in capuchin monkeys (Cebus spp.). Compared with other New World primates, capuchins stand out as a genus with high cognitive abilities including tool use capability and cooperation to solve a task. Eight adult capuchin monkeys were used (four males e four females). We tested the use of two different food rewards (raisin or peanut) given to the monkeys before each trial as conditional cues to signalize the location of food rewards hidden inside eight boxes. The boxes were distributed on the cage floor on two arrays: 4 boxes formed an inner square and 4 boxes formed an outer square. In each trial only the boxes of one set were baited and the boxes of the two arrays contained distinct rewards; the inner array contained peanuts while the outer one contained raisin. Monkeys were tested in two conditions: (1) when the baited array was constant along the trials and (2) when the baited array varied randomly between trials. Results have shown that all monkeys were able to use spatial memory to forage food during the first condition on both arrays. However, the inner array was learned faster than the outer one, suggesting that capuchins seem to organize their search trajectory and minimize the memory demand of the task when resources are clustered. In the second condition, capuchins were able to predict the location of the food above what was expected by chance. One subject was able to use the food rewards given before each trial as a conditional cue to predict the baited array. These findings indicate that capuchins can integrate where and what information and utilize relational information beyond the spatial domain.


memória primária comportamento animal

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