Self-control in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta): Controlling for differential stimulus exposure

Allen D. Szalda-Petree, Baine B. Craft, Lori M. Martin, Heide K. Deditius-Island

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Previous research on self-control using macaques (Macaca fascicularis) showed these animals have a strong bias for a delayed, larger reinforcer (Self-control) over an immediate, smaller reinforcer (Impulsive). Typical studies of self-control have used a discrete trials methodology with a secondary discriminative stimulus during the delay periods. This results in a greater exposure to the stimulus representing the self-controlled option and may account for some of the early exclusive preference for self-control observed. The present experiment examined self-control bias in three rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) while controlling for differential durations of stimulus exposure. Subjects were presented stimuli via a computer monitor and made choices by touching the stimulus at which point both stimuli were removed for the delay periods. All three subjects displayed a nearly exclusive bias for the delayed, larger reinforcer (self-control). These results are consistent with previous studies, despite the variations in methodology and species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-146
Number of pages6
JournalPerceptual and Motor Skills
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004


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