[MARMAM] New publication: Spontaneous prosocial choice by captive bottlenose dolphins

Fumio Nakahara fnakahar at tokiwa.ac.jp
Tue Dec 13 18:08:17 PST 2016

Dear MARMAM readers,
We are pleased to announce the following publication in Behavioural

Nakahara F, Komaba M, Sato R, Ikeda H, Komaba K & Kawakubo A. 2017.
Spontaneous prosocial choice by captive bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops
truncatus. Behavioural Processes, 135: 8-11.

Dolphins exhibit prosocial behavior across several different contexts.
However, only a few experimental studies have investigated the psychological
mechanisms underlying this behavior. In this study, we investigated the
mechanisms underlying prosociality in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops
truncatus). In the experiments, water shower devices, developed as
environmental enrichment items, were used. Two paradigms were used to
measure prosociality. The first was the prosocial choice task, involving the
subject typically being offered one choice between two options. The first
option provided a reward (take a shower) to both the subject and partner
(prosocial choice). The second option provided a reward only to the subject
(selfish choice). The second paradigm was the giving assistance task,
involving the subject being provided a choice between providing instrumental
help to the partner (prosocial choice) or doing nothing. It was observed
that the subjects chose the prosocial choices in both paradigms. In these
experiments, prosocial choices were spontaneously taken without requests
from the partners. These results indicated that the dolphins show preference
for other-regarding behavior.

The article can be downloaded from:


Fumio Nakahara, Ph.D.
Tokiwa University
1-430-1 Miwa, Mito, Ibaraki, 310-8585 Japan
Email: fnakahar at tokiwa.ac.jp

More information about the MARMAM mailing list