Serial cognition and personality in macaques

Drew Altschul, Alexander Weiss, Herbert Terrace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We examined associations between serial cognition and personality in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Nine macaques were tested on a simultaneous chaining task to assess their cognitive abilities. They were also rated for personality traits and scored according to a six component structure derived from free-ranging rhesus macaques. Friendliness and Openness were positively associated with good performance on three measures of accuracy on the serial learning task: Progress, Error, and Rewarded (i.e. correctly completed) Trials. Faster Reaction Times were associated with lower Friendliness and higher Confidence, as well as higher Openness when only correct responses were analyzed. We also used regularized exploratory factor analysis to extract two, three, four, five, and six factor structures, and found consistent associations between accuracy and single factors within these structures. Prior results on intelligence in other nonhuman primate species focused on basic intelligence tests; this study demonstrates that more complex, abstract cognitive tasks can be used to assess intelligence and personality in nonhuman primates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46
Number of pages64
JournalAnimal Behavior and Cognition
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2016

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • primates
  • comparative cognition
  • serial cognition
  • Individual differences
  • personality
  • Rhesus macaques


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