A Comparative Analysis of Serial Ordering in Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta)

Dustin Merritt, Evan L. MacLean, Sarah Jaffe, Elizabeth M. Brannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Research over the last 25 years has demonstrated that animals are able to organize sequences in memory and retrieve ordered sequences without language. Qualitative differences have been found between the serial organization of behavior in pigeons and monkeys. Here the authors test serial ordering abilities in ring-tailed lemurs, a strepsirrhine primate whose ancestral lineage diverged from that of monkeys, apes, and humans approximately 63 million years ago. Lemurs' accuracy and response times were similar to monkeys, thus suggesting that they may share mechanisms for serial organization that dates to a common primate ancestor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-371
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Comparative Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • distance effect
  • lemurs
  • ordinal memory
  • serial learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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