CZAAWE Resource Article

Cognitive style: problem solving by rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) reared with living or inanimate substitute mothers
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
Journal of Comparative Psychology
Cognitive style, reflected in the generation of novel solutions and the use of identifiable response strategies in problem-solving situations, was contrasted in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) reared individually with either canine companions or inanimate surrogate mothers. Four experiments were conducted over a 5-year period, examining problem solving in relatively unstructured as well as more formal situations. Results indicated that whereas the 2 rearing groups did not differ on most measures of performance, consistent response strategies were identified for the dog-raised monkeys. The results were compared with previously published data from the same monkeys demonstrating rearing group differences in abilities to engage in complex social interaction. The animate nature of the early rearing environment may facilitate-the development of a cognitive style that influences problem-solving abilities in both the social and nonsocial realms.