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Durham e-Theses
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Communication and cultural transmission in populations of semi free-ranging Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus).

GARCIA-NISA, IVAN (2021) Communication and cultural transmission in populations of semi free-ranging Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus). Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

Full text not available from this repository.
Author-imposed embargo until 29 September 2022.


Social learning refers to the spread of novel behaviours between individuals and is important to survival. Visual attention is generally biased towards dominant individuals and/or affiliates in social animals. Therefore, social dynamics may represent patterns of social diffusion. Communication interactions, often depicting affiliative relations, may also represent social learning opportunities. This thesis aims to explore the role of communication networks in social learning in a nonhuman primate society. Specifically, the thesis answers three questions: (1) can communication acts predict affiliative relations, (2) can social learning be identified in Barbary macaques and (3) can communication interactions represent paths of social information diffusion. To address the first question I describe a series of networks based on affiliative behaviours (grooming, huddling, proximity) and communication
interactions (aid-recruitment calls and vocal comments in affiliative and agonistic contexts) in a group of Barbary macaques housed in Blair Drummond Safari Park (BDG). All affiliative behaviours, except huddling, predicted the aid-recruitment network. Vocal comments in affiliative contexts were predicted by grooming and huddling. In agonistic contexts, vocal comments occurred when the aggressor was an ally and the victim was not an affiliate. For the second and third question, extractive foraging tasks were presented to two groups of Barbary macaques independently. Three tasks of
increasing difficulty were presented to a group in Trentham Monkey Forest (TG) to investigate social learning. Evidence of social transmission was found only for the most difficult tasks. For BDG and TG, communication and/or affiliative networks were compared to observation networks during task introductions. Affiliative and observation networks predicted social learning. Communication networks predicted affiliative interactions. Only vocal comments in affiliative contexts predicted observation networks. Results suggest that communication networks, which mirror social bonds, may
represent social learning opportunities. Integration of communication networks into studies of social learning is a fruitful avenue for further research.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:primates; primatology; social learning; communication; social dynamics; macaques; social network analysis; vocalizations
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Anthropology, Department of
Thesis Date:2021
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:29 Sep 2021 15:31

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