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The Evolution of Primate Short-Term Memory

ManyPrimates, , Aguenounon, Géraud, Allritz, Matthias, Altschul, Drew, Ballesta, Sébastien, Beaud, Alice, Bohn, Manuel, Bornbusch, Sally, Brandão, Angela, Brooks, James, Bugnyar, Thomas, Burkart, Judith, Bustamante, Léa, Call, Josep, Canteloup, Charlotte, Cao, Chuangshi, Caspar, Kai, da Silva, Diana, de Sousa, Alexandra, DeTroy, Sarah, Duguid, Shona ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4844-0673, Eppley, Timothy, Fichtel, Claudia, Fischer, Julia, Gong, Chi, Grange, James, Grebe, Nicholas, Hanus, Daniel, Haun, Daniel, Haux, Lou, Héjja-Brichard, Yseult, Helman, Annabella, Hernadi, Istvan, Hernandez-Aguilar, R. Adriana, Herrmann, Esther, Hopper, Lydia, Howard, Lauren, Huang, Lei, Huskisson, Sarah, Jacobs, Ivo, Jin, Zhiyong, Joly, Marine, Kano, Fumihiro, Keupp, Stefanie, Kiefer, Evelin, Knakker, Balázs, Kóczán, Katalin, Kraus, Larissa, Kwok, Sze Chai, Lefrançois, Marie, Lewis, Laura, Liu, Siyi, Llorente, Miquel, Lonsdorf, Elizabeth, Loyant, Louise, Majecka, Katarzyna, Maurits, Luke, Meunier, Hélène, Mobili, Flávia, Morino, Luca, Motes-Rodrigo, Alba, Nijman, Vincent, Ihomi, Caroline, Persson, Tomas, Pietraszewski, Dariusz, Reátiga Parrish, Juan, Roig, Anthony, Sánchez-Amaro, Alejandro, Sato, Yutaro, Sauciuc, Gabriela-Alina, Schrock, Allie, Schweinfurth, Manon, Seed, Amanda, Shearer, Caroline, Šlipogor, Vedrana, Su, Yanjie, Sutherland, Kirsten, Tan, Jingzhi, Taylor, Derry, Troisi, Camille, Völter, Christoph, Warren, Elizabeth, Watzek, Julia and Zablocki-Thomas, Pauline (2022) The Evolution of Primate Short-Term Memory. Animal Behavior and Cognition, 9 (4). pp. 428-516.

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Short-term memory is implicated in a range of cognitive abilities and is critical for understanding primate cognitive evolution. To investigate the effects of phylogeny, ecology and sociality on short-term memory, we tested the largest and most diverse primate sample to date (421 non-human primates across 41 species) in an experimental delayed-response task. Our results confirm previous findings that longer delays decrease memory performance across species and taxa. Our analyses demonstrate a considerable contribution of phylogeny over ecological and social factors on the distribution of short-term memory performance in primates; closely related species had more similar short-term memory abilities. Overall, individuals in the branch of Hominoidea performed better compared to Cercopithecoidea, who in turn performed above Platyrrhini and Strepsirrhini. Interdependencies between phylogeny and socioecology of a given species presented an obstacle to disentangling the effects of each of these factors on the evolution of short-term memory capacity. However, this study offers an important step forward in understanding the interspecies and individual variation in short-term memory ability by providing the first phylogenetic reconstruction of this trait’s evolutionary history. The dataset constitutes a unique resource for studying the evolution of primate cognition and the role of short-term memory in other cognitive abilities.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.26451/abc.
School/Department: School of Education, Language and Psychology
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/9203

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