Animal Cognition 14, 427-431

Contrafreeloading and the value of control over visual stimuli in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata)

Tadatoshi Ogura

Abstract

Contrafreeloading, which means that animals work for food even though identical food is freely available, has been reported in animals’ feeding behavior. This phenomenon has been assumed to be explained by the information primacy model, in which the information about a food resource as well as the food itself is valuable for animals. This study confirmed a contrafreeloading-like phenomenon using movies as rewards rather than food in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) and investigated the motivational system that exists behind contrafreeloading. In the experiment, movies that were presented dependently on subjects’ responses (earned movies) and movies that were presented automatically (free movies) were supplied simultaneously. The subjects continued to make responses to obtain the presentation of the earned movies although identical movies were available as free movies. These results provide the first evidence of contrafreeloading that occurs with movie rewards. The motivation maintaining the contrafreeloading behavior for movies may be control over the environment according to the competence theory.

Keywords

Contrafreeloading, Control over environment, Japanese macaque, Movie, Sensory reinforcement

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Ogura T (2011) Contrafreeloading and the value of control over visual stimuli in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) Animal Cognition 14, 427-431 , doi: 10.1007/s10071-010-0377-y