Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.779266
Title: Individual differences in cognitive abilities and task performance in wild chacma baboons (Papio ursinus)
Author: Martina, Claudia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 9629
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Abstract:
Animal species vary widely in their cognitive abilities. However, relatively few studies, particularly in wild conditions, have assessed cognitive differences between individuals within a species, even when such differences may impact individual fitness. In this thesis, I investigate variation in the cognitive abilities and task performance of individuals belonging to two troops of wild chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) in Namibia. I conducted three field experiments to assess individual variation in associative learning abilities, using an operant conditioning task, an extractive foraging task and a second-order conditioning task (Chapters 4-6). I then used these same tasks to explore individual differences in both task participation and the use of different foraging techniques (Chapters 7-8). In each chapter I also sought to test evolutionary hypotheses about that variation according to individual phenotype, including age, sex and social rank. I found little evidence that the baboons learnt the intended associations as initially predicted in the three tasks, and likewise little evidence of individual differences in learning ability that could be related to phenotype in the two tasks in which I was able to explore this. However, I did find consistent individual differences in task participation and feeding techniques. Overall, my findings highlight both, the challenges and opportunities of conducting tests in the wild.
Supervisor: Sommer, V. ; Cowlishaw, G. ; Carter, A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.779266  DOI: Not available
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