Crested macaque facial movements are more intense and stereotyped in potentially risky social interactions

Clark, P.R. ORCID: 0000-0001-6725-7781, Waller, B.M. ORCID: 0000-0001-6303-7458, Agil, M. and Micheletta, J., 2022. Crested macaque facial movements are more intense and stereotyped in potentially risky social interactions. Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences, 377 (1860): 20210307. ISSN 1471-2970

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One contribution of 13 to a theme issue 'Cognition, communication and social bonds in primates'. Ambiguity in communicative signals may lead to misunderstandings and thus reduce the effectiveness of communication, especially in unpredictable interactions such as between closely matched rivals or those with a weak social bond. Therefore, signals used in these circumstances should be less ambiguous, more stereotyped and more intense. To test this prediction, we measured facial movements of crested macaques (Macaca nigra) during spontaneous social interaction, using the Facial Action Coding System for macaques (MaqFACS). We used linear mixed models to assess whether facial movement intensity and variability varied according to the interaction outcome, the individuals' dominance relationship and their social bond. Movements were least intense and most variable in affiliative contexts, and more intense in interactions between individuals who were closely matched in terms of dominance rating. We found no effect of social bond strength. Our findings provide evidence for a reduction in ambiguity of facial behaviour in risky social situations but do not demonstrate any mitigating effect of social relationship quality. The results indicate that the ability to modify communicative signals may play an important role in navigating complex primate social interactions. This article is part of the theme issue 'Cognition, communication and social bonds in primates'.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences
Creators: Clark, P.R., Waller, B.M., Agil, M. and Micheletta, J.
Publisher: The Royal Society
Date: 26 September 2022
Volume: 377
Number: 1860
ISSN: 1471-2970
Rights: © 2022 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Jeremy Silvester
Date Added: 09 Sep 2022 13:59
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2022 13:59

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