Scottish Primate Research Group

Scotland, United Kingdom

Scottish Primate Research Group

Scotland, United Kingdom
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Morton F.B.,University of Stirling | Morton F.B.,Scottish Primate Research Group | Brosnan S.F.,Georgia State University | Pretot L.,Georgia State University | And 8 more authors.
Behavioural Processes | Year: 2016

Behavioural responses to photos are often used to infer what animals understand about their social environment, but are rarely validated against the same stimuli in real life. If subjects' responses to photos do not reflect responses to the same live stimuli, it is difficult to conclude what happens in reality based on photo responses alone. We compared capuchins' responses to photos versus live stimuli in an identical scenario within research cubicles. Subjects had the opportunity to approach food placed in front of an alpha group member and, in a separate condition, photos depicting the same individual. Subjects' latencies to approach food when placed in front of the real alpha negatively correlated with time subjects spent in close proximity to the alpha in their main enclosure. We therefore predicted subjects' latencies to approach food in the presence of photos would positively correlate with their latencies to approach food in the presence of the real alpha inside the cubicles, but negatively correlate with time they spent in proximity to the alpha in their enclosure. Neither prediction was supported. While not necessarily surprising, we explain why these results should be an important reminder that care is needed when interpreting results from photo studies. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Morton F.B.,University of Stirling | Morton F.B.,Scottish Primate Research Group | Weiss A.,Scottish Primate Research Group | Weiss A.,University of Edinburgh | And 4 more authors.
Animal Behaviour | Year: 2015

Social relationships vary in content, quality and patterning. Most researchers focus on whether and how nondispositional factors, including age, sex, kinship and rank, predict variance in the content, quality and patterning of relationships. However, within a species, these factors do not always predict partner choice. We examined whether similarity in any of five personality traits, Assertiveness, Openness, Neuroticism, Sociability and Attentiveness, independently contributed to variation in the affiliative and agonistic relationships of pairs of brown capuchin monkeys, Sapajus sp. Capuchins that were more similar in Neuroticism had higher affiliative relationship scores, while capuchins that were more similar in Sociability shared overall higher-quality relationships (i.e. the difference between the dyad's affiliative and agonistic scores). These effects were independent of age, sex, kinship and rank, suggesting that certain aspects of the psychology of these animals may contribute uniquely to the quality of their social relationships. © 2015 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

Lefevre C.E.,University of Leeds | Wilson V.A.D.,University of Edinburgh | Wilson V.A.D.,Scottish Primate Research Group | Morton F.B.,Scottish Primate Research Group | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Social dominance hierarchies play a pivotal role in shaping the behaviour of many species, and sex differences within these hierarchies often exist. To date, however, few physical markers of dominance have been identified. Such markers would be valuable in terms of understanding the etiology of dominant behaviour and changes in social hierarchies over time. Animals may also use such traits to evaluate the potential dominance of others relative to themselves (i.e. a physical "cue"). Facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR), for example, has been suggested as a cue to dominance in humans, with links to both dominant behaviour and the perception of dominance in other individuals. Whether this association is present in nonhuman animals is currently not known. Therefore, here we examine within-species links between fWHR and dominant behaviour in 64 brown capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp.) aged between 2 and 40 years. fWHR was positively associated with alpha status and with a dimensional rating of assertive personality in both males and females. Moreover, fWHR showed significant sexual dimorphism in adults but not juveniles, suggesting a developmental change may occur during puberty. In a sub-sample, sex differences were mediated by weight, suggesting fWHR dimorphism does not exceed what would be expected by differences in body weight. This is the first report of an association between face shape and behaviour in a nonhuman species. Results are discussed in terms of the role that face-behaviour associations might play within capuchin societies, and the possible selective forces that might have led to the evolution of fWHR-dominance associations in humans. © 2014 Lefevre et al.

PubMed | Scottish Primate Research Group, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Yale University and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983) | Year: 2016

One way to gain insights into personality evolution is by comparing the personality structures of related species. We compared the personality structure of 240 wild white-faced capuchin monkeys to the personality structure of 100 captive brown capuchin monkeys. An ancillary goal was to test the degree to which different personality questionnaires yielded similar personality dimensions. Both species were rated on a common set of 26 antonym pairs. The brown capuchin monkeys were also rated on the 54-item Hominoid Personality Questionnaire. Our cross-species comparisons revealed 3 personality dimensions-Assertiveness, Openness, and Neuroticism-shared by brown and white-faced capuchins, suggesting that these dimensions were present in the common ancestor of these species. Our comparison of the dimensions derived from the antonym pairs and the Hominoid Personality Questionnaire revealed that three common dimensions were identified by both questionnaires. In addition, the dimension Attentiveness was only identified using the Hominoid Personality Questionnaire. These results indicate that major features of capuchin personality are conserved and that the structure of some traits, such as those related to focus, persistence, and attention, diverged. Further work is needed to identify the evolutionary bases that led to the conservation of some dimensions but not others. (PsycINFO Database Record

Robinson L.M.,University of Edinburgh | Robinson L.M.,Scottish Primate Research Group | Waran N.K.,University of Edinburgh | Leach M.C.,Northumbria University | And 10 more authors.
Applied Animal Behaviour Science | Year: 2016

Questionnaires that allow people who are familiar with individual animals to rate the welfare of these animals are an underutilised tool. We designed a 12-item welfare questionnaire and tested its reliability and associations with subjective well-being (SWB), locomotor stereotypy, and personality traits. The welfare questionnaire included questions relating to physical health, stress and coping, satisfaction with social relationships, psychological stimulation, and the display of positive and negative welfare indicators. We collected ratings of 66 brown capuchins (Sapajus apella) living in three facilities. Each capuchin was rated on the welfare questionnaire by an average of 2.8 raters. The interrater reliability of the welfare questionnaire items ranged from ICC(3,k) 0.51 to 0.86. A principal components analysis indicated that the 12 welfare items loaded onto one component. We repeated this process with the welfare and four items used to measure subjective well-being and found all the items were defined by a single component (welfareSWB). We then conducted three sets of analyses, one predicting the welfare component, one predicting the SWB component, and predicting the welfareSWB component. The independent variables were frequency of locomotor stereotypy, personality, age, and sex; facility was included as a random effect. In models including stereotypy, age, and sex we found frequency of stereotypy to be significantly associated with all three predicted components (ps < 0.01). After controlling for stereotypy (b = −0.25, p = 0.17), age (b = −0.54, p = 0.01), and sex (b = −0.32, p = 0.07), the personality traits of Sociability (b = 1.02, p < 0.001), Assertiveness, (b = 0.63, p < 0.001), and Attentiveness (b = 0.54, p = 0.01) were associated with higher scores on the joint welfareSWB component; Neuroticism was negatively associated with welfare SWB (b = −0.60, p = 0.01). Our results suggest that welfare questionnaires is a useful, reliable, and valid tool for primate welfare assessment. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Eckardt W.,University of Chester | Steklis H.D.,University of Arizona | Steklis N.G.,University of Arizona | Fletcher A.W.,Zoo Atlanta | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Comparative Psychology | Year: 2015

Studies of animal personality improve our understanding of individual variation in measures of life history and fitness, such as health and reproductive success. Using a 54 trait personality questionnaire developed for studying great apes and other nonhuman primates, we obtained ratings on 116 wild mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) monitored by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund's Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda. There were 8 raters who each had more than 1.5 years of working experience with the subjects. Principal component analyses identified 4 personality dimensions with high interrater reliabilities-Dominance, Openness, Sociability, and Proto-Agreeableness-that reflected personality features unique to gorillas and personality features shared with other hominoids. We next examined the associations of these dimensions with independently collected behavioral measures derived from long-term records. Predicted correlations were found between the personality dimensions and corresponding behaviors. For example, Dominance, Openness, Sociability, and Proto-Agreeableness were related to gorilla dominance strength, time spent playing, rates of approaches, and rates of interventions in intragroup conflicts, respectively. These findings enrich the comparative-evolutionary study of personality and provide insights into how species differences in personality are related to ecology, social systems, and life history. © 2014 American Psychological Association.

Adams M.J.,University of Edinburgh | Adams M.J.,Scottish Primate Research Group | King J.E.,University of Arizona | Weiss A.,University of Edinburgh | Weiss A.,Scottish Primate Research Group
Behavior Genetics | Year: 2012

The heritability of human personality is well-established. Recent research indicates that nonadditive genetic effects, such as dominance and epistasis, play a large role in personality variation. One possible explanation for the latter finding is that there has been recent selection on human personality. To test this possibility, we estimated additive and nonadditive genetic variance in personality and subjective well-being of zoo-housed orangutans. More than half of the genetic variance in these traits could be attributed to nonadditive genetic effects, modeled as dominance. Subjective well-being had genetic overlap with personality, though less so than has been found in humans or chimpanzees. Since a large portion of nonadditive genetic variance in personality is not unique to humans, the nonadditivity of human personality is not sufficient evidence for recent selection of personality in humans. Nonadditive genetic variance may be a general feature of the genetic structure of personality in primates and other animals. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012.

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