HOPE report


Presentation in International conference of primatology.

Report:Morimoto Yo

Date:2008/08/02 - 2008/08/13

I presented our results in International conference of primatology in Edinburgh (8/3-8). The title of the presentation was "Capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) regulate their own behaviour according to the conspecific's emotional expression. Yo Morimoto, Kazuo Fujita"
Understanding conspecifics' emotional state seems important in managing social interaction. But there have been few studies about emotion recognition in nonhuman animals. We examined whether tufted capuchin monkeys regulate their own behaviour according to the conspecific's emotional expression. Six subject monkeys were shown a stimulus monkey who is emotionally responding toward an object in a box. The subject monkeys could not see the object in the box, but could see the emotional reaction of the stimulus monkey toward the object. Next, the box was moved close to the subjects and they were allowed to reach toward the box. The subject monkeys reached more frequently when the stimulus monkey showed emotionally positive expression than when he showed emotionally neutral or negative expression. This happened without regard to the state of the subjects' prior knowledge of potential objects in the box. The present study suggests that emotional information may be transmitted between two monkeys by way of emotional reaction. That is, using emotional reactions of others, the subject monkeys might recognize the contents of the box as emotionally positive or negative. However, our results may be explained by emotional contagion, a process by which the affective state of the observer automatically matches the emotional expression of the demonstrator. Furthre research is needed to conclude whether the monkeys understand the relationship between other's expression and its cause.

Morimoto in front of Edinburgh International Conference Center

A scene at the conference

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