Date of Award

8-7-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Sarah Brosnan

Second Advisor

Michael Beran

Third Advisor

Heather Kleider-Offutt

Abstract

Change blindness is a phenomenon in which individuals fail to detect seemingly obvious changes in their visual fields. Like humans, several animal species have also recently been shown to exhibit change blindness; however, no species of New World monkey has been tested to date. Nine capuchins (Cebus [Sapajus] apella) were trained to select whether or not a stimulus changed on a computerized task. In four phases of testing, the search display and mask durations were varied systematically. Only one phase yielded significant results, with subjects detecting changes most accurately with longer search displays and, perplexingly, least accurately when there was no mask. No interactions between search display and mask durations were found in any test phase, suggesting that the relationship between the two parameters may be less important to how capuchins perceive changes.

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