Knowledge acquired and decisions made: triadic interactions during allogrooming in wild bonnet macaques, Macaca radiata
Publication Type:Journal Articles
Source:Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Volume 353, Number 1368, p.619–631 (1998)
Keywords:Allogrooming, Bonnet macaque, Macaca radiata, social cognition, social knowledge
The pressures of developing and maintaining intricate social relationships may have led to the evolution of enhanced cognitive abilities in many nonhuman primates. Knowledge of the dominance ranks and social relationships of other individuals, in particular, is important in evaluating one's position in the rank hier- archy and a??liative networks. Triadic interactions o??er an excellent opportunity to examine whether decisions are taken by individuals on the basis of such knowledge. Allogrooming supplants among wild female bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata) usually involved the subordinate female of a grooming dyad retreating at the approach of a female dominant to both members of the dyad. In a few exceptional cases, however, the dominant member of the dyad retreated ; simple non- cognitive hypotheses involving dyadic rank di??erences and agonistic relationships failed to explain this phenomenon. Instead, retreat by the dominant individual was positively correlated with the social attractiveness of her subordinate companion (as measured by the duration of grooming received by the latter from other females in the troop). This suggests that not only does an individual evaluate relationships among other females, but does so on the basis of the amount of grooming received by them. Similarly, the frequency of approaches received by any female was correlated with her social attractiveness when she was the dominant member of the dyad, but not when she was the subordinate. This indicated that approaching females might be aware of the relative dominance ranks of the two allogrooming individuals. In logistic regression analyses, the probability of any individual retreating was found to be in??uenced more by her knowledge of her rank di??erence with both the other interactants, rather than by their absolute ranks. Moreover, information about social attractive - ness appeared to be used in terms of correlated dominance ranks. The nature of knowledge acquired by bonnet macaque females may thus be egotistical in that other individuals are evaluated relative to oneself, integrative in that information about all other interactants is used simultaneously, and hierarchical in the ability to preferentially use certain categories of knowledge for the storage of related information from other domains.
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