Triadic social interactions operate across time

a field experiment with wild chimpanzees.

Roman M. Wittig, Catherine Crockford, Kevin Langergraber, Klaus Zuberbühler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social animals cooperate with bonding partners to outcompete others. Predicting a competitor's supporter is likely to be beneficial, regardless of whether the supporting relationship is stable or transient, or whether the support happens immediately or later. Although humans make such predictions frequently, it is unclear to what extent animals have the cognitive abilities to recognize others' transient bond partners and to predict others' coalitions that extend beyond the immediate present. We conducted playback experiments with wild chimpanzees to test this. About 2 h after fighting, subjects heard recordings of aggressive barks of a bystander, who was or was not a bond partner of the former opponent. Subjects looked longer and moved away more often from barks of the former opponents' bond partners than non-bond partners. In an additional experiment, subjects moved away more from barks than socially benign calls of the same bond partner. These effects were present despite differences in genetic relatedness and considerable time delays between the two events. Chimpanzees, it appears, integrate memories of social interactions from different sources to make inferences about current interactions. This ability is crucial for connecting triadic social interactions across time, a requirement for predicting aggressive support even after a time delay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20133155
Number of pages1
JournalProceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society
Volume281
Issue number1779
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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Pan troglodytes
Interpersonal Relations
bark
Time delay
Animals
Aptitude
animal
Experiments
fighting
relatedness
Data storage equipment
genetic relationships
animals
experiment
prediction
field experiment
testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Triadic social interactions operate across time : a field experiment with wild chimpanzees. / Wittig, Roman M.; Crockford, Catherine; Langergraber, Kevin; Zuberbühler, Klaus.

In: Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, Vol. 281, No. 1779, 2014, p. 20133155.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wittig, Roman M. ; Crockford, Catherine ; Langergraber, Kevin ; Zuberbühler, Klaus. / Triadic social interactions operate across time : a field experiment with wild chimpanzees. In: Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society. 2014 ; Vol. 281, No. 1779. pp. 20133155.
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