An audience can have a profound effect on the dynamics of communicative interactions. As a result, non-human primates often adjust their social decision-making strategies depending on the audience composition at a given time. Here we sought to test how the unique vocal behaviour of multiple audience members affected decisions to communicate. To address this issue, we developed a novel experimental paradigm in which common marmosets directly interacted with multiple ‘virtual monkeys’ (VMs), each of whom represented an individual marmoset with distinct vocal behaviour. This active social signalling paradigm provided subjects an opportunity to interact with and learn about the behaviour of each VM in the network and apply this knowledge in subsequent communicative decisions. We found that subjects' propensity to interact with particular VMs was determined by the behaviour of each VM in the audience and suggests that marmoset social decision-making strategies are highly adaptive to nuances of the immediate communication network.
Electronic supplementary material is available online at https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3655682.
- Received November 30, 2016.
- Accepted December 20, 2016.
- © 2017 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.