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Rhesus Monkeys Use Geometric and Nongeometric Information During a Reorientation Task

Gouteux, S. ; Thinus-Blanc, C. ; Vauclair, J.

Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 2001, Vol.130(3), pp.505-519 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Rhesus Monkeys Use Geometric and Nongeometric Information During a Reorientation Task
  • Author/Creator: Gouteux, S. ; Thinus-Blanc, C. ; Vauclair, J.
  • Language: English
  • Is Part Of: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 2001, Vol.130(3), pp.505-519
  • Description: Rhesus monkeys ( Macaca mulata ) were subjected to a place finding task in a rectangular room perfectly homogeneous and without distinctive featural information. Results of Experiment 1 show that monkeys rely on the large-scale geometry of the room to retrieve a food reward. Experiments 2 and 3 indicate that subjects use also nongeometric information (colored wall) to reorient. Data of Experiments 4 and 5 suggest that monkeys do not use small angular cues but that they are sensitive to the size of the cues (Experiments 6, 7, and 8). Our findings strengthen the idea that a mechanism based on the geometry of the environment is at work in several mammalian species. In addition, the present data offer new perspectives on spatial cognition in animals that are phylogenetically close to humans. Specifically, the joint use of both geometric and landmark-based cues by rhesus monkeys tends to demonstrate that spatial processing became more flexible with evolution.
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0096-3445 ; E-ISSN: 1939-2222 ; DOI: 10.1037/0096-3445.130.3.505