The Bucknell Animal Behavior Lab is home to ten brown capuchins. The group consists of two adult males, four adult females and four juvenile males, ages ranging from one to thirteen years. Six of the ten individuals were acquired from the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Atlanta, Georgia in the summer of 2000. The juveniles were born here at Bucknell.
General Research Topics:
1. Numerical competence: It is agreed among primatologists that at least primitive numerical abilities are possessed by primates other that humans. At Bucknell, this species is tested for different varieties of numerical abilities including the ability to judge the relative value of different sets of items as well as the ability to match sets of items based on their quantity.
2. Social Cognition: Like humans, many other types of primates live in social groups. Thus, many species have evolved superior abilities to recognize and remember the relationships among other group members. With the aide of digital images and interactive computer software, the extent of this species’ social knowledge is tested here at Bucknell.
3. Tool-use: This primate species, in particular, is known for its ability to combine environmental objects in order to increase foraging efficiency or provide protection from predators and competitors. Investigators at Bucknell study the acquisition, flexibility, and experiential factors related to this species' tool-using behavior.
Judge, P.G., Evans, T.A., & Vyas, D.K. 2005. Ordinal representation of numeric quantities by brown capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 31, 79-94.
Judge, P.G., Paxton, R.L., & Talarico, L.R. 2004. Differential matching of familiar and unfamiliar conspecific faces by capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). American Journal of Primatology, 62, 124.
· Regina Paxton. Honors Thesis. 2004. Familiar versus unfamiliar concept formation in brown capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella).
· Lauren Talarico. Honors Thesis. 2004. The formation of an abstract relational position concept in capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella).
· Sarah Conant. Honors Thesis. 2003. Capuchin monkeys recognize functionally relevant tool properties in a tool selection task. Awarded the Miller Prize.
· Theodore Evans. Masters Thesis. 2003. Absolute numerousness judgements in capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella).