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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2020

Authors: Dale, R; Marshall-Pescini, S; Range, F

Title: What matters for cooperation? The importance of social relationship over cognition.

Source: Sci Rep. 2020; 10(1):11778

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Dale Rachel
Marshall Sarah
Range Friederike

Vetmed Research Units
Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology

Project(s): Understanding the proximate mechanisms of canine cooperation

Animals’ understanding of their partner’s role in cooperative economic games

Cooperation is vital for the survival of many species and has been extensively researched at the ultimate level however, there is a considerable degree of variation within a given species in the extent of cooperative behaviours exhibited. Possible factors that have been discussed to contribute to this variation are the social relationship between the cooperating individuals, but also non-social factors such as inhibitory control. Investigating the performance of wolves, a highly cooperative species, in three experimental cooperative tasks; a coordination (string-pulling) task, a prosocial task and an inequity aversion task, we found that the social relationship between the partners had the largest effects on all tasks, while non-social factors (inhibition, learning speed, causal understanding and persistence) had rather unpredicted, or no effects. The results support the potential importance of relational factors, rather than motivation and cognitive abilities, in driving cooperative interactions.

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