Video-task acquisition in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): a comparative analysis

Primates. 1996 Apr;37(2):197-206. doi: 10.1007/BF02381407.


This study describes video-task acquisition in two nonhuman primate species. The subjects were seven rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) and seven chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). All subjects were trained to manipulate a joystick which controlled a cursor displayed on a computer monitor. Two criterion levels were used: one based on conceptual knowledge of the task and one based on motor performance. Chimpanzees and rhesus monkeys attained criterion in a comparable number of trials using a conceptually based criterion. However, using a criterion based on motor performance, chimpanzees reached criterion significantly faster than rhesus monkeys. Analysis of error patterns and latency indicated that the rhesus monkeys had a larger asymmetry in response bias and were significantly slower in responding than the chimpanzees. The results are discussed in terms of the relation between object manipulation skills and video-task acquisition.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Food Preferences
  • Learning*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Motor Skills*
  • Pan troglodytes
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Reaction Time
  • Reinforcement, Psychology
  • Software
  • User-Computer Interface*
  • Video Games