The Benefit of Symbols: Monkeys Show Linear, Human-Like, Accuracy When Using Symbols to Represent Scalar Value

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The Benefit of Symbols: Monkeys Show Linear, Human-Like, Accuracy When Using Symbols to Represent Scalar Value

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dc.contributor.author Livingstone, Margaret Stratford
dc.contributor.author Srihasam, Krishna
dc.contributor.author Morocz, Istvan Akos
dc.date.accessioned 2011-03-19T06:47:59Z
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier.citation Livingstone, Margaret S., Krishna Srihasam, and Istvan A. Morocz. 2010. The benefit of symbols: Monkeys show linear, human-like, accuracy when using symbols to represent scalar value. Animal Cognition 13(5): 711-719. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1435-9448 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4745733
dc.description.abstract When humans and animals estimate numbers of items, their error rate is proportional to the number. To date, however, only humans show the capacity to represent large numbers symbolically, which endows them with increased precision, especially for large numbers, and with tools for manipulating numbers. This ability depends critically on our capacity to acquire and represent explicit symbols. Here we show that when rhesus monkeys are trained to use an explicit symbol system, they too show more precise, and linear, scaling than they do using a one-to-one corresponding numerosity representation. We also found that when taught two different types of representations for reward amount, the monkeys systematically undervalued the less precise representation. The results indicate that monkeys, like humans, can learn alternative mechanisms for representing a single value scale and that performance variability and relative value depend on the distinguishability of each representation. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Springer Verlag en_US
dc.relation.isversionof doi:10.1007/s10071-010-0321-1 en_US
dc.relation.hasversion http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921054/pdf/ en_US
dash.license META_ONLY
dc.subject monkeys en_US
dc.subject numbers en_US
dc.subject symbol learning en_US
dc.title The Benefit of Symbols: Monkeys Show Linear, Human-Like, Accuracy When Using Symbols to Represent Scalar Value en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.description.version Version of Record en_US
dc.relation.journal Animal Cognition en_US
dash.depositing.author Livingstone, Margaret Stratford
dash.embargo.until 10000-01-01
dash.affiliation.other HMS^Neurobiology en_US
dash.affiliation.other HMS^Neurobiology en_US
dash.affiliation.other HMS^Radiology-Brigham and Women's Hospital en_US

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