Age-Dependant Behavioral Strategies in a Visual Search Task in Baboons (Papio papio) and Their Relation to Inhibitory Control


  • Fagot Joêl
  • Bonte Élodie
  • Hopkins William D.

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A computerized visual search task was presented to 18 guinea baboons (Papio papio) ranging from 2.7 to 14.3 years of age. The task, inspired from Hick's (1952) task, required detection of a target among a variable number of distractors equidistant to a start button. The reaction times (RTs) and movement times both increased with the number of distractors expressed in bits of information. However, the slope of RT per bit function correlated positively with age, whereas a negative correlation was found for the movement time slopes. In Experiment 2, the same baboons were required to inhibit an ongoing manual pointing toward a target stimulus, to reengage in a new point as a consequence of a change in target location. Results revealed a more accurate performance in the adults, suggesting that differences in behavioral strategies in Experiment 1 can be accounted for by a greater inhibitory control of the adult participants. Implications of these results are discussed regarding the relation between attention, inhibitory control, and behavioral strategies in monkeys, and the general significance of RT slopes in visual search tasks.

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