Nicolas Claidière
Laboratoire de psychologie cognitive
Aix-Marseille University, CNRS
13331 Marseille, France

Computerized assessment of dominance hierarchy in baboons (Papio papio)

Gullstrand, J., Claidière, N., & Fagot, J. (2021). Computerized assessment of dominance hierarchy in baboons (Papio papio). Behavior research methods. doi:10.3758/s13428-021-01539-z

Abstract: Dominance hierarchies are an important aspect of Primate social life, and there is an increasing need to develop new systems to collect social information automatically. The main goal of this research was to explore the possibility to infer the dominance hierarchy of a group of Guinea baboons (Papio papio) from the analysis of their spontaneous interactions with freely accessible automated learning devices for monkeys (ALDM, Fagot & Bonté Behavior Research Methods, 42, 507–516, 2010). Experiment 1 compared the dominance hierarchy obtained from conventional observations of agonistic behaviours to the one inferred from the analysis of automatically recorded supplanting behaviours within the ALDM workstations. The comparison, applied to three different datasets, shows that the dominance hierarchies obtained with the two methods are highly congruent (all rs ≥ 0.75). Experiment 2 investigated the experimental potential of inferring dominance hierarchy from ALDM testing. ALDM data previously published in Goujon and Fagot (Behavioural Brain Research, 247, 101–109, 2013) were re-analysed for that purpose. Results indicate that supplanting events within the workstations lead to a transient improvement of cognitive performance for the baboon supplanting its partners and that this improvement depends on the difference in rank between the two baboons. This study therefore opens new perspectives for cognitive studies conducted in a social context.

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