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Metacognition refers to a knowledge of one’s own cognitive abilities and …

Biology Articles » Zoology » Primatology » Prospective and Retrospective Metacognitive Abilities in Rhesus Monkeys » Results

- Prospective and Retrospective Metacognitive Abilities in Rhesus Monkeys

The first ten days of data were used to analyze the correlation between task accuracy and metacognitive judgment level. As shown in Table 1, the total number of correct and incorrect responses was organized based on the associated confidence judgment. Analysis of the correlation between accuracy and met acognitive judgment level was used to determine the extent to which the subject made appropriate metacognitive judgments. A Fisher’s exact test determined the phi-correlation coefficient(φ)value. This value measures the relationship between a correct response and a high-risk judgment and between an incorrect response and a low-risk judgment. An ideal φ value of 1.0 indicates that the subject chose high-risk each time he made a correct response and low-risk each time he made an incorrect response. The statistics for this study were calculated using the SPSS program and the phi-correlation coefficient was determined using an alpha level of 0.01.

Retrospective Recall Task

The subject responded metacognitively as soon as the risk icons were introduced after each trial of the recall task. The value of φ for the retrospectivere call task was 0.488, p < .0001. This shows that the monkey was more likely to choose high risk following a correct response and low risk following and incorrect one.

Prospective Recall Task

Results also show that metacognitive responding immediately transferred from the retrospective recall task to the prospective recall task when the confidence icons were introduced before each trial. The value of φ for the prospective recall task was found to be 0.458, p < .0001.

The results from this experiment show that rhesus monkeys possess the monitoring capabilities involved in metacognition. The findings from the retrospective memory task demonstrate that rhesus monkeys are able to monitor how well they performed a previous task. Results from the prospective memory task show the rhesus monkeys’ ability to assess how well they learned information that was just presented to them. This  indicates that monkeys can use control to predict their performance on a future test. By comparing these φ-correlation coefficients to those of serial working memory tasks found in previous experiments (Figure 4), it is evident that the monkey can immediately transfer the reporting method of previous experiments to judge his confidence on the recall tasks in this experiment.

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