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Author Notes:


Regina Paxton Gazes, Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Funding acquisition, Investigation, Methodology, Project administration, Software, Supervision, Visualization, Writing – original draft, Writing – review & editing

Meredith C. Lutz, Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Methodology, Software, Visualization, Writing – original draft

Mark J. Meyer, Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Methodology, Software, Visualization

Thomas C. Hassett, Methodology, Project administration, Writing – review & editing

Robert R. Hampton, Conceptualization, Funding acquisition, Investigation, Methodology, Project administration, Resources, Supervision, Writing – review & editing

Elsa Addessi, Editor


Research Funding:

This work was supported by a Griffith Faculty fellowship to RPG; by National Science Foundation (www.nsf.gov) awards IOS-1146316, BCS-0745573, and BCS-1632477 to RRH; by National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov), Grant # RO1MH082819 and was supported in part by ORIP/OD P51OD011132 to RRH.


  • Animals
  • housing
  • social groups
  • cognitive testing
  • participation
  • demography
  • social factors
  • social status
  • naturalist social groups

Influences of demographic, seasonal, and social factors on automated touchscreen computer use by rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) in a large naturalistic group

Journal Title:



Volume 14, Number 4


, Pages e0215060-e0215060

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Animals housed in naturalistic social groups with access to automated cognitive testing vary in whether and how much they participate in cognitive testing. Understanding how demographic, seasonal, and social factors relate to participation is essential to evaluating the usefulness of these systems for studying cognition and in assessing the data produced. We evaluated how sex, age, reproductive experience, seasonality, and rank related to patterns of participation in a naturalistic group of rhesus monkeys over a 4-year period. Females interacted with the touchscreen systems more than males and were more likely to complete initial training. Age was positively correlated with touchscreen activity through adolescence in females, at which point seasonality and reproductive experience were stronger associates of participation. While monkeys in different rank categories did not differ in how much they interacted with the touchscreen systems, monkeys of different ranks tended not to work at the same times, perhaps reflecting avoidance of high ranking animals by those of lower rank. Automated cognitive testing systems for naturalistic social groups of rhesus monkeys can yield quality cognitive data from individuals of all ages and ranks, but participation biases may make it difficult to study sex differences or seasonal variation in cognition.

Copyright information:

© 2019 Gazes et al.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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