[MARMAM] New Publication -Orcas remember what to copy: a deferred and interference-resistant imitation study.

José Francisco Zamorano Abramson zabramson at psi.ucm.es
Wed Mar 1 22:41:44 PST 2023

Dear MARMAM community,

On behalf of myself and my co authors I'm pleased to announce the following
publication in *Animal Cognition: *

Zamorano-Abramson, J., Hernández-Lloreda, M.V., Colmenares, F. *et al.* Orcas
remember what to copy: a deferred and interference-resistant imitation
study. *Anim Cogn* (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-023-01756-3


Response facilitation has often been portrayed as a “low level” category of
social learning, because the demonstrator’s action, which is already in the
observer’s repertoire, automatically triggers that same action, rather than
induces the learning of a new action. One way to rule out response
facilitation consists of introducing a delay between the demonstrator’s
behavior and the observer’s response to let their possible effects wear
off. However, this may not rule out “delayed response facilitation” in
which the subject could be continuously “mentally rehearsing” the
demonstrated actions during the waiting period. We used a
do-as-the-other-did paradigm in two orcas to study whether they displayed
cognitive control regarding their production of familiar actions by (1)
introducing a delay ranging from 60 to 150 s between observing and
producing the actions and (2) interspersing distractor (non-target) actions
performed by the demonstrator and by the subjects during the delay period.
These two manipulations were aimed at preventing the mental rehearsal of
the observed actions during the delay period. Both orcas copied the model’s
target actions on command after various delay periods, and crucially,
despite the presence of distractor actions. These findings suggest that
orcas are capable of selectively retrieving a representation of an observed
action to generate a delayed matching response. Moreover, these results
lend further support to the proposal that the subjects’ performance relied
not only on a mental representation of the specific actions that were
requested to copy, but also flexibly on the abstract and domain general
rule requested by the specific “copy command”. Our findings strengthen the
view that orcas and other cetaceans are capable of flexible and controlled
social learning.

Many thanks and best wishes,

José Zamorano -Abramson
Dr. José Zamorano-Abramson.
1.Centro de Investigación en Complejidad Social, Facultad de Gobierno,
Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile.
2. Investigador Grupo de Psicobiología Social, Evolutiva y Comparada
Departamento de Psicobiología y Metodología en Ciencias del
de Psicología. Universidad Complutense de Madrid.Campus de Somosaguas 28223
Madrid, Spain
RESEARCHE Id: B-3990-2012
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