Bolder Marmoset Monkeys Learn Faster Than Shy Ones

Cognitive capabilities in marmoset monkeys are influenced by both their personality as well as family group membership
By: University of Vienna
VIENNA - May 11, 2022 - PRLog -- Individual traits seem to drive our learning success: for instance, conscientious individuals often show higher academic performance. A group of cognitive and behavioural biologists from University of Vienna conducted personality assessments and a battery of learning tests with common marmosets and found that such a link, intertwined with family group membership, exists in these monkeys, too. The study results were recently published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

It has long been thought that only humans have personalities, but in recent decades personalities have been found in animals from spiders to apes. Similar personality traits are often shared between animals characterized as "friends" and sometimes even their whole social groups. Personalities have been linked to many life-history traits, but also to cognitive capabilities, like academic or work performance in humans. In animals, it has been suggested that more explorative and/or bolder individuals learn to solve various learning tasks faster. However, once they form these associations, they may be less flexible in reversing the learned links (as per the speed-accuracy trade-off model). Thus, in the new research article, Vedrana Šlipogor and colleagues from University of Vienna focused on exploring whether such a link is also present in common marmosets, cooperatively breeding monkey species that parallel humans in many socio-cognitive traits, and to which extent this is interlinked with their family group membership.

Original Publication:

Šlipogor, V., Graf, C., Massen, J.J.M., & Bugnyar, T. (2022). Personality and social environment predict cognitive performance in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). Scientific Reports 12, 6702.

Personality and social environment predict cognitive performance in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) | Scientific Reports ( (


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Source:University of Vienna
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