Nancy Rebout


PhD student, supervisors: Bernard Thierry and Alban Lemasson

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Thesis title: A comparative study of the flexibility of vocal communication in four species of macaque

According to the social complexity hypothesis, social systems characterized by complex relationships require high communicative complexity to regulate interactions between group members. In macaques, species differ in their social style. Intolerant species show a steep gradient of dominance coupled with formal submission signals. Tolerant species exhibit more balanced relationships that allow subordinates to protest or counter-attack against higher-ranking individuals, which leads to a significant level of uncertainty – and thus complexity in the sense of Shannon’s information theory – regarding the outcome of social interactions. By comparing the vocal communications of two intolerant species, Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) and rhesus macaques (M. mulatta) as well as two tolerant species, Tonkean macaques (M. tonkeana) and crested macaques (M. nigra), I am testing the existence of a link between social style and vocal flexibility.

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Freeman, S.M., Rebout, N., & Bales, K.L. (2018). Effect of reward type on object discrimination learning in socially monogamous coppery titi monkeys (Callicebus cupreus). American journal of primatologye22868

Rebout, N., Desportes, C., & Thierry, B. (2017). Resource partitioning in tolerant and intolerant macaques. Aggressive Behavior, (October 2016), 1–8.

Rebout, N., Thierry, B., Sanna, A., Cozzolino, R., Aujard, F., & De Marco, A. (2017). Female mate choice and male–male competition in Tonkean macaques: Who decides? Ethology, 123(5).