An Individual-Oriented Model on the Emergence of Support in Fights, Its Reciprocation and Exchange

Charlotte K. Hemelrijk*, Ivan Puga-Gonzalez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
212 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Complex social behaviour of primates has usually been attributed to the operation of complex cognition. Recently, models have shown that constraints imposed by the socio-spatial structuring of individuals in a group may result in an unexpectedly high number of patterns of complex social behaviour, resembling the dominance styles of egalitarian and despotic species of macaques and the differences between them. This includes affiliative patterns, such as reciprocation of grooming, grooming up the hierarchy, and reconciliation. In the present study, we show that the distribution of support in fights, which is the social behaviour that is potentially most sophisticated in terms of cognitive processes, may emerge in the same way. The model represents the spatial grouping of individuals and their social behaviour, such as their avoidance of risks during attacks, the self-reinforcing effects of winning and losing their fights, their tendency to join in fights of others that are close by (social facilitation), their tendency to groom when they are anxious, the reduction of their anxiety by grooming, and the increase of anxiety when involved in aggression. Further, we represent the difference in intensity of aggression apparent in egalitarian and despotic macaques. The model reproduces many aspects of support in fights, such as its different types, namely, conservative, bridging and revolutionary, patterns of choice of coalition partners attributed to triadic awareness, those of reciprocation of support and 'spiteful acts' and of exchange between support and grooming. This work is important because it suggests that behaviour that seems to result from sophisticated cognition may be a side-effect of spatial structure and dominance interactions and it shows that partial correlations fail to completely omit these effects of spatial structure. Further, the model is falsifiable, since it results in many patterns that can easily be tested in real primates by means of existing data.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere37271
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume7
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30-May-2012

Keywords

  • LONG-TAILED MACAQUES
  • POST-CONFLICT BEHAVIOR
  • SOCIAL-INTERACTION PATTERNS
  • CAPPED CAPUCHIN MONKEYS
  • ADULT FEMALE BABOONS
  • MALE BONNET MACAQUES
  • JAPANESE MACAQUES
  • MACACA-MULATTA
  • RHESUS-MONKEYS
  • COALITION-FORMATION

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