Analysis Of Macaques

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Micheletta, Whitehouse, Parr, and Waller (2015) tested three crested macaques (Macaca nigra) using matching-to-sample tasks. The researchers’ goal was to determine whether these crested macaques were capable of discriminating between facial expressions and whether visual stimuli affected performance. There were two separate experiments in which the crested macaques were to match a photograph of a specific facial expression to an exemplar while other examples of different expressions and neutral faces were shown. Then they were to match a video of an expression to a photograph of the exemplar while other examples were shown (Micheletta et al., 2015). These primates performed above chance, and were able to identify expressions by category…show more content…
Results showed an unusually high accuracy for emotional expression discrimination, with an 80% success rate (Calcutt et al., 2017). Such a high rate shows that facial expression discrimination is an important survival tool for these monkeys. Agnostic/negative expressions were easier for monkeys to tell apart than affiliative/friendly ones (Calcutt et al., 2017). From this we can infer that detection of unfriendly expressions has been especially important evolutionarily for tufted capuchin monkeys. Overall, the monkeys best at detecting facial expressions have been, and will continue to be, the most equipped and ideal for passing their genes on to future generations. Ways in which gibbons (Hylobatidae), a small ape species, altered their use of facial expressions in relation to the recipient’s behavior was explored in a different study by Scheider, Waller, Ona, Burrows, and Liebal (2016). More specifically, the researchers investigated how attention state of the receiver influenced the expression produced, as well as whether recipients would respond by using a facial expression (Scheider et al., 2016). Mated pairs of five different gibbon species were observed and researchers used GibbonFACS to code and define facial expressions. 45 different expressions were discovered, used in different contexts (Scheider et al., 2016). When facing
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