Authors:Héctor Marín Manrique; Adriano-Bruno Chaves Molina; Sandra Posada; Montserrat Colell Pages: 74 - 80 Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 April 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Héctor Marín Manrique, Adriano-Bruno Chaves Molina, Sandra Posada, Montserrat Colell The cognition of green jays (Cyanocorax yncas), a non Corvus corvid species, was investigated by using the string-pulling paradigm. Five adult green jays performed a vertical string-pulling task in which they had to retrieve a worm attached to the end of a vertical hanging string while sitting on their perch. In the first experiment, three of the subjects managed to retrieve the worm by pulling on the string with their beaks and stepping on the resulting loop, and thereafter repeating this sequence until the worm was accessible. When subjects were given a choice between two strings in subsequent experiments 2 to 4, they chose at random between the string connected to the worm and the one connected to a slice of a wooden dowel. In experiment 5, subjects that had failed the previous discrimination series were able, nevertheless, to solve a more stringent vertical string array in which they had to pull up the whole length of the string without any visual access to the worm at the end. We discuss green jays’ performance in comparison with other corvid species in which cognition has been more extensively investigated.
Authors:Karen L. Hollis Pages: 4 - 11 Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes, Volume 139 Author(s): Karen L. Hollis A behavioural ecological approach to the relationship between pit-digging larval antlions and their common prey, ants, provides yet another example of how the specific ecological niche that species inhabit imposes selection pressures leading to unique behavioural adaptations. Antlions rely on multiple strategies to capture prey with a minimal expenditure of energy and extraordinary efficiency while ants employ several different strategies for avoiding capture, including rescue of trapped nestmates. Importantly, both ants and antlions rely heavily on their capacity for learning, a tool that sometimes is overlooked in predator-prey relationships, leading to the implicit assumption that behavioural adaptations are the result of fixed, hard-wired responses. Nonetheless, like hard-wired responses, learned behaviour, too, is uniquely adapted to the ecological niche, a reminder that the expression of associative learning is species-specific. Beyond the study of ants and antlions, per se, this particular predator-prey relationship reveals the important role that the capacity to learn plays in coevolutionary arms races.
Authors:Thierry Duhoo; Jean-Luc Durand; Karen L. Hollis; Elise Nowbahari Pages: 12 - 18 Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes, Volume 139 Author(s): Thierry Duhoo, Jean-Luc Durand, Karen L. Hollis, Elise Nowbahari The experimental study of rescue behaviour in ants, behaviour in which individuals help entrapped nestmates in distress, has revealed that rescuers respond to victims with very precisely targeted behaviour. In Cataglyphis cursor, several different components of rescue behaviour have been observed, demonstrating the complexity of this behaviour, including sand digging and sand transport to excavate the victim, followed by pulling on the victim’s limbs as well as the object holding the victim in place, behaviour that serves to free the victim. Although previous work suggested that rescue was optimally organized, first to expose and then to extricate the victim under a variety of differing circumstances, experimental analysis of that organization has been lacking. Here, using experimental data, we characterize the pattern of individual rescue behaviour in C. cursor by analysing the probabilities of transitions from one behavioural component to another. The results show that the execution of each behavioural component is determined by the interplay of previous acts. In particular, we show not only that ants move sand away from the victim in an especially efficient sequence of behaviour that greatly minimizes energy expenditure, but also that ants appear to form some kind of memory of what they did in the past, a memory that directs their future behaviour.
Authors:Karen L. Hollis; Kelsey McNew; Talisa Sosa; Felicia A. Harrsch; Elise Nowbahari Pages: 19 - 25 Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes, Volume 139 Author(s): Karen L. Hollis, Kelsey McNew, Talisa Sosa, Felicia A. Harrsch, Elise Nowbahari Many species of ants fall prey to pit-digging larval antlions (Myrmeleon spp.), extremely sedentary predators that wait, nearly motionless at the bottom of their pit traps, for prey to stumble inside. Previous research, both in the field and laboratory, has demonstrated a remarkable ability of these ants to rescue trapped nestmates, thus sabotaging antlions’ attempts to capture them. Here we show that pavement ants, Tetramorium sp. E, an invasive species and a major threat to biodiversity, possess yet another, more effective, antipredator strategy, namely the ability to learn to avoid antlion traps following a single successful escape from a pit. More importantly, we show that this learned antipredator behavior, an example of natural aversive learning in insects, is more complicated than a single cue-to-consequence form of associative learning. That is, pavement ants were able to generalize, after one experience, from the learned characteristics of the pit and its specific location, to other pits and other contexts that differed in many features. Such generalization, often described as a lack of precise stimulus control, nonetheless would be especially adaptive in nature, enabling ants to negotiate antlions’ pit fields, which contain a hundred or more pits within a few centimetres of one another. Indeed, the ability to generalize in exactly this way almost certainly is responsible for the sudden, and heretofore inexplicable, behavioural modifications of ants in response to an invasion of antlions in the vicinity of an ant colony.
Authors:I. Loy; B. Álvarez; E.C. Strempler-Rubio; M. Rodríguez Pages: 26 - 32 Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes, Volume 139 Author(s): I. Loy, B. Álvarez, E.C. Strempler-Rubio, M. Rodríguez Pavlovian conditioning of tentacle lowering in the snail, Cornu aspersum, as an instance of associative learning, has proven effective to show evidence of paradigmatic associative phenomena (e.g., blocking) explained by current models of conditioning. Nevertheless, the available literature questions the biological function of the conditioned response (i.e., tentacle lowering) in snails since no advantages in terms of food finding had been observed. Ecological accounts of learning claim that learning abilities contribute to the adaptation to the environmental demands, and there is experimental evidence supporting this in several species (e.g., grasshoppers, fish, or antlions). However, there is a lack of evidence in snails, which is surprising given that the conditioned response of tentacle lowering is a robust finding that fits in with several predictions of associative learning theory (e.g., blocking or conditioned inhibition). The goal of this manuscript was to test whether food detection is affected by prior experience with the food, distance, and conditioning. We found that prior experience with a food source is necessary for snails to locate the same food item; that the optimal distance to test for food detection is between 5 and 7cm and that snails seem to use different food searching strategies after conditioning depending on the stimuli that are present. The data provided constitute a small contribution to the vindication of a greater coordination between the fruitful research tool provided by the associative account of learning and the evolutionary vocation of the ecological approach of learning.
Authors:Mark A.W. Hornsby; Susan D. Healy; T. Andrew Hurly Pages: 33 - 37 Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes, Volume 139 Author(s): Mark A.W. Hornsby, Susan D. Healy, T. Andrew Hurly Animals use cues from their environment to orient in space and to navigate their surroundings. Geometry is a cue whose informational content may originate from the metric properties of a given environment, and its use has been demonstrated in the laboratory in nearly every species of animal tested. However, it is not clear whether geometric information, used by animals typically tested in small, rectangular boxes, is directly relevant to animals in their natural environment. Here we present the first data that confirm the use of geometric cues by a free-living animal in the wild. We trained rufous hummingbirds to visit a rectangular array of four artificial flowers, one of which was rewarded. In some trials a conspicuous landmark cued the reward. Following array translocation and rotation, we presented hummingbirds with three tests. When trained and tested with the landmark, or when trained and tested without it, hummingbirds failed to show geometric learning. However, when trained with a landmark but tested without it, hummingbirds produced the classic geometric response, showing that they had learned the geometric relationships (distance and direction) of several non-reward visual elements of the environment. While it remains that the use of geometry to relocate a reward may be an experimental artefact, its use is not confined to the laboratory.
Authors:Christopher N. Templeton; Katharine Philp; Lauren M. Guillette; Kevin N. Laland; Sarah Benson-Amram Pages: 38 - 42 Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes, Volume 139 Author(s): Christopher N. Templeton, Katharine Philp, Lauren M. Guillette, Kevin N. Laland, Sarah Benson-Amram Many factors, including the demonstrator’s sex, status, and familiarity, shape the nature and magnitude of social learning. Given the important role of pair bonds in socially-monogamous animals, we predicted that these intimate relationships would promote the use of social information, and tested this hypothesis in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Observer birds witnessed either their mate or another familiar, opposite-sex bird eat from one, but not a second novel food source, before being allowed to feed from both food sources themselves. Birds used social information to make foraging decisions, but not all individuals used this information in the same way. While most individuals copied the foraging choice of the demonstrator as predicted, paired males did not, instead avoiding the feeder demonstrated by their mate. Our findings reveal that sex and pairing status interact to influence the use of social information and suggest that paired males might use social information to avoid competing with their mate.
Authors:Lauren M. Guillette; Susan D. Healy Pages: 43 - 49 Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes, Volume 139 Author(s): Lauren M. Guillette, Susan D. Healy The transmission of information from an experienced demonstrator to a naïve observer often depends on characteristics of the demonstrator, such as familiarity, success or dominance status. Whether or not the demonstrator pays attention to and/or interacts with the observer may also affect social information acquisition or use by the observer. Here we used a video-demonstrator paradigm first to test whether video demonstrators have the same effect as using live demonstrators in zebra finches, and second, to test the importance of visual and vocal interactions between the demonstrator and observer on social information use by the observer. We found that female zebra finches copied novel food choices of male demonstrators they saw via live-streaming video while they did not consistently copy from the demonstrators when they were seen in playbacks of the same videos. Although naive observers copied in the absence of vocalizations by the demonstrator, as they copied from playback of videos with the sound off, females did not copy where there was a mis-match between the visual information provided by the video and vocal information from a live male that was out of sight. Taken together these results suggest that video demonstration is a useful methodology for testing social information transfer, at least in a foraging context, but more importantly, that social information use varies according to the vocal interactions, or lack thereof, between the observer and the demonstrator.
Authors:Zachary J. Nolen; Pablo E. Allen; Christine W. Miller Pages: 1 - 6 Abstract: Publication date: May 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes, Volume 138 Author(s): Zachary J. Nolen, Pablo E. Allen, Christine W. Miller In animal contests, resource value (the quality of a given resource) and resource holding potential (a male’s absolute fighting ability) are two important factors determining the level of engagement and outcome of contests. Few studies have tested these factors simultaneously. Here, we investigated whether natural, seasonal differences in cactus phenology (fruit quality) influence interactions between males in the leaf-footed cactus bug, Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae). We also considered whether males were more likely to interact when they were similar in size, as predicted by theory. Finally, we examined if male size relative to the size of an opponent predicted competitive success. We found that males have more interactions on cactus with high value ripe fruit, as we predicted. Further, we found that males that were closer in size were more likely to interact, and larger males were more likely to become dominant.
Authors:Megan S. Broadway; Mystera M. Samuelson; Jennie L. Christopher; Stephanie E. Jett; Heidi Lyn Pages: 7 - 14 Abstract: Publication date: May 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes, Volume 138 Author(s): Megan S. Broadway, Mystera M. Samuelson, Jennie L. Christopher, Stephanie E. Jett, Heidi Lyn The study of canine cognition can be useful in understanding the selective pressures affecting cognitive abilities. Dogs have undergone intensive artificial selection yielding distinctive breeds, which differ both phenotypically and behaviorally and no other species has a wider range in brain size. As brain size has long been hypothesized to relate to cognitive capacity, this species offers a useful model to further explore this relationship. The influence of physical size on canine cognition has not been thoroughly addressed, despite the fact that large dogs are often perceived to be ‘smarter’ than small dogs. To date, this preconception has only recently been addressed and supported in one study comparing large and small dogs in a social cognition task, where large dogs outperformed small dogs in a pointing choice task. We assessed large and small dogs using a series of spatial cognition tasks and detected no differences between the two groups. Further research is needed to clarify why our results failed to compliment previous findings. It is possible that differences found in social cognition tasks may not be due to differences in size, rather they may be based on other factors such as methodology, prior training experience, or past experience with humans in general.
Authors:Caroline Vignet; Joanne Parrott Pages: 15 - 21 Abstract: Publication date: May 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes, Volume 138 Author(s): Caroline Vignet, Joanne Parrott Fathead minnow (FM, Pimephales promelas) are a species of small fish native to North America. Their small size, fast development, and ability to breed in the lab make them an ideal species to use in research, especially in toxicology. Behaviour in general is poorly studied in FM. The aim of this study was to characterize the normal behaviour of fathead minnow at 3 different stages of development in a light-dark box and in a social behaviour test. Fish larvae showed a preference for the light area, and then an increase in dark preference was seen as the fish aged. FM preferred to be with conspecifics at each age, but this preference was much stronger at the adult stage. The time of first entry into the conspecific area was reduced with increasing age of the fish. The time spent in the conspecific area increased between the juvenile and adult stage, and adults stayed more in this area when they entered it. Maturation of behavior in FM was demonstrated in our study. The FM is another good model fish to assess behavioral effects of chemicals, and this study helps to define the appropriate ages for behavioral studies with FM.
Authors:Clarissa de Almeida Moura; Jéssica Polyana da Silva Lima; Vanessa Augusta Magalhães Silveira; Mário André Leocadio Miguel; Ana Carolina Luchiari Pages: 49 - 57 Abstract: Publication date: May 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes, Volume 138 Author(s): Clarissa de Almeida Moura, Jéssica Polyana da Silva Lima, Vanessa Augusta Magalhães Silveira, Mário André Leocadio Miguel, Ana Carolina Luchiari The ability to learn about the signs of variability in space and time is known as time place learning (TPL). To adjust their circadian rhythms, animals use stimuli that change regularly, such as the light-dark cycle, temperature, food availability or even social stimuli. Because light-dark cycle is the most important environmental temporal cue, we asked how a diurnal animal would perform TPL if this cue was removed. Zebrafish has been extensively studied in the chronobiology area due to it diurnal chronotype, thus, we studied the effects of constant light and constant dark on the time-place learning and activity profile in zebrafish. Our data show that while under constant light and dark condition zebrafish was not able of TPL, after 30days under the constant conditions, constant light led to higher activity level and less significant (robust) 24h rhythm.
Authors:Inês Fortes; Jacob P. Case; Thomas R. Zentall Pages: 67 - 72 Abstract: Publication date: May 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes, Volume 138 Author(s): Inês Fortes, Jacob P. Case, Thomas R. Zentall Slot machines are among the most popular forms of commercial gambling, and the high frequency of losses that come close to winning – near hits – in this game appears to contribute to its popularity. In the present experiment we tested if pigeons, similarly to humans, prefer an alternative that provides near-hit outcomes in a slot-machine-like task. The pigeons received series of three stimuli, one every two seconds: if the three stimuli matched, food was delivered (a win); if they did not match, food was not delivered (a loss). We gave pigeons a choice between two options that provided food with the same probability but they differed in the sequence of stimuli on loss trials. For the near-hit alternative the non-matching stimulus was the third one (defined as a near hit). For the clear-loss alternative the non-matching stimulus was the second one. We found that the pigeons preferred the clear-loss alternative, that is, they preferred to be given information about the outcome sooner. This result is consistent with prior research on suboptimal choice with pigeons that emphasizes the role of information in choice but is inconsistent with the results of research with humans.
Authors:L. Leann Kanda; Amir Abdulhay; Caitlin Erickson Pages: 82 - 90 Abstract: Publication date: May 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes, Volume 138 Author(s): L. Leann Kanda, Amir Abdulhay, Caitlin Erickson Individual animal personalities interact with environmental conditions to generate differences in behavior, a phenomenon of growing interest for understanding the effects of environmental enrichment on captive animals. Wheels are common environmental enrichment for laboratory rodents, but studies conflict on how this influences behavior, and interaction of wheels with individual personalities has rarely been examined. We examined whether wheel access altered personality profiles in adult Siberian dwarf hamsters. We assayed animals in a tunnel maze twice for baseline personality, then again at two and at seven weeks after the experimental group was provisioned with wheels in their home cages. Linear mixed model selection was used to assess changes in behavior over time and across environmental gradient of wheel exposure. While animals showed consistent inter-individual differences in activity, activity personality did not change upon exposure to a wheel. Boldness also varies among individuals, and there is evidence for female boldness scores converging after wheel exposure, that is, opposite shifts in behavior by high and low boldness individuals, although sample size is too small for the mixed model results to be robust. In general, Siberian dwarf hamsters appear to show low behavioral plasticity, particularly in general activity, in response to running wheels.
Authors:Daniele Battocchio; Laura Iacolina; Antonio Canu; Emiliano Mori Pages: 123 - 126 Abstract: Publication date: May 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes, Volume 138 Author(s): Daniele Battocchio, Laura Iacolina, Antonio Canu, Emiliano Mori Hybridization between domestic and wild species is known to widely occur and it is reported to be one of the major causes of the current biodiversity crisis. Despite this, poor attention has been deserved to the behavioural ecology of hybrids, in particular in relation to their social behaviour. We carried out a camera trap study to assess whether phenotypically anomalous colouration in wild boar, i.e. potentially introgressed with domestic pigs, affected the hierarchical structure of wild boar social groups. Chromatically anomalous wild boars (CAWs) were detected in 32 out of 531 wild boar videos. In most videos (75%) CAWs were the latest of the group, independently from their age class and group composition. Aggressions by their wild type fellows were recorded in 31.25% videos; by contrast, no aggression among wild type individuals was observed. The lack of camouflage may expose CAWs, and thus their group, to a higher predation risk, compared to wild type groups. This individual loss of local adaptation may increase predation risk by the wolf or detection by hunters, being maladaptive for the whole social group.
Authors:Xiaolin Mei; Lin Tian; Zhaoxia Xue; Xinwang Li Pages: 127 - 133 Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 March 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Xiaolin Mei, Lin Tian, Zhaoxia Xue, Xinwang Li Impulsivity is an important personality trait that affects people’s lives every day. Because of the complicated structures and various measurements of impulsivity, the conclusion that whether there were gender differences on impulsivity remained controversial. In our study, we used delay discounting and probability discounting to measure impulsive choice and employed stop signal reaction time task (SSRT) to measure impulsive action within the same subjects. No inherent gender differences were found, either on impulsive choice or on impulsive action. However, after adding a working memory (WM) task, we found an interaction between gender and WM: males made more impulsive choices in the delay discounting task, but females remained no change, and this only occurred when the reward amount was large; in the SSRT, the males showed better inhibitory control under the WM load condition, but females did not. These results demonstrate that gender difference does not exist on impulsivity biologically, but the increased working memory load could affect the gender’s sense of delay gratification and the ability of inhibitory control differently. These findings can contribute to the studies of gender differences on impulsivity and draw attention to the need for further research that gender factors should be considered more carefully when exploring the effects of working memory.
Authors:Aaron P. Blaisdell; Traci Biedermann; Eric Sosa; Ava Abuchaei; Neveen Youssef; Sylvie Bradesi Pages: 142 - 151 Abstract: Publication date: May 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes, Volume 138 Author(s): Aaron P. Blaisdell, Traci Biedermann, Eric Sosa, Ava Abuchaei, Neveen Youssef, Sylvie Bradesi Diets consisting of refined foods (REF) are associated with poor physical (e.g., obesity and diabetes) and mental (e.g., depression) health and impaired cognition. Few animal studies have explored the causal links between diet processing and health. Instead, most studies focus on the role of macronutrients, especially carbohydrate and fat concurrently with how processed are the ingredients. We previously showed that a REF low fat diet (LFD) caused greater adiposity and impaired motivation compared to an unrefined control (CON) diet consisting of similar macronutrient ratios (Blaisdell et al., 2014). Here we test the hypothesis that the same REF LFD adversely affects attentional processes and behavioral control relative to the CON diet. Rats with ad libitum access to the REF diet for two months gained greater adiposity than rats consuming the CON diet. Rats then completed training on a vigilance task involving pressing the correct lever signaled by a brief visual cue whose onset varied across trials. A REF diet reduced accuracy when there was a delay between the start of the trial and cue onset. Poorer accuracy was due to increased premature responses, reflecting impulsivity, and omissions, indicating an inability to sustain attention. These results corroborate the links between consumption of refined foods, obesity, and poor cognition in humans. We discuss the possible causal models that underlie this link.
Authors:Charlotte Bonardi; Jasper Robinson; Dómhnall Jennings Pages: 5 - 18 Abstract: Publication date: April 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes, Volume 137 Author(s): Charlotte Bonardi, Jasper Robinson, Dómhnall Jennings Since occasion setting was identified as a type of learning independent of ‘simple’ associative processes, a great deal of research has explored how occasion setters are established and operate. Initial theories suggested that they exert hierarchical control over a target CS → US association, facilitating the ease with which a CS can activate the US representation and elicit the CR. Later approaches proposed that occasion setting arises from an association between a configural cue, formed from the conjunction of the occasion setter and CS, and the US. The former solution requires the associative principles dictating how stimuli interact to be modified, while the latter does not. The history of this theoretical distinction, and evidence relating to it, will be briefly reviewed and some novel data presented. In summary, although the contribution of configural processes to learning phenomena is not in doubt, configural theories must make many assumptions to accommodate the existing data, and there are certain classes of evidence that they are logically unable to explain. Our contention is therefore that some kind of hierarchical process is required to explain occasion-setting effects.
Authors:Edgar H. Vogel; Fernando P. Ponce; Allan R. Wagner Pages: 19 - 32 Abstract: Publication date: April 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes, Volume 137 Author(s): Edgar H. Vogel, Fernando P. Ponce, Allan R. Wagner The available data on occasion setting led Susan Brandon and Allan Wagner (Brandon and Wagner, 1998; Wagner and Brandon, 2001) to formulate what has come to be known as a replaced-elements conception (REM) of context-dependent cues within the SOP model (Wagner, 1981). In the present paper, we review the development of the theory, and show how, with a few congenial assumptions about shared cues, it can address some of the major regularities concerning when the transfer of occasion setting does or does not occur. Among the particular examples are the relatively unique transfers that have been reported to occur between separate serial discriminations and between targets that have been trained with the same versus different reinforcers.
Authors:Jelena Trajković; Dragana Miličić; Tatjana Savić; Sofija Pavković-Lučić Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 April 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Jelena Trajković, Dragana Miličić, Tatjana Savić, Sofija Pavković-Lučić Evolution of reproductive isolation may be a consequence of a variety of signals used in courtship and mate preferences. Pheromones play an important role in both sexual selection and sexual isolation. The abundance of pheromones in Drosophila melanogaster may depend on different environmental factors, including diet. The aim of this study was to ascertain to which degree principal pheromones affect sexual selection in D. melanogaster. We used D. melanogaster strains reared for 14 years on four substrates: standard cornmeal substrate and those containing tomato, banana and carrot. We have previously determined that long-term maintaining of these dietary strains resulted in differences in their cuticular hydrocarbons profile (CHs). In this work, we have tested the level of sexual selection and sexual isolation between aforementioned strains. We found that the high levels of cis-vaccenyl acetate, 7-pentacosene and 7,11-nonacosadiene in the strain reared on a substrate containing carrot affected the individual attractiveness and influenced sexual isolation between flies of this strain and flies reared on a substrate containing banana. Based on these results, long-term different diets, may contribute, to sexual behaviour of D. melanogaster via the effects of principal pheromones.
Authors:Nataly Yáñez; Arturo Bouzas; Vladimir Orduña Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 April 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Nataly Yáñez, Arturo Bouzas, Vladimir Orduña The sunk cost effect has been defined as the tendency to persist in an alternative once an investment of effort, time or money has been made, even if better options are available. The goal of this study was to investigate in rats the relationship between sunk cost and the information about when it is optimal to leave the situation, which was studied by Navarro and Fantino (2005) with pigeons. They developed a procedure in which different fixed-ratio schedules were randomly presented, with the richest one being more likely; subjects could persist in the trial until they obtained the reinforcer, or start a new trial in which the most favorable option would be available with a high probability. The information about the expected number of responses needed to obtain the reinforcer was manipulated through the presence or absence of discriminative stimuli; also, they used different combinations of schedule values and their probabilities of presentation to generate escape-optimal and persistence- optimal conditions. They found optimal behavior in the conditions with presence of discriminative stimuli, but non-optimal behavior when they were absent. Unlike their results, we found optimal behavior in both conditions regardless of the absence of discriminative stimuli; rats seemed to use the number of responses already emitted in the trial as a criterion to escape. In contrast to pigeons, rats behaved optimally and the sunk cost effect was not observed.
Authors:Vera Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 April 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Péter Pongrácz, Vera Ujvári, Tamás Faragó, Ádám Miklósi, András Péter The visual sense of dogs is in many aspects different than that of humans. Unfortunately, authors do not explicitly take into consideration dog-human differences in visual perception when designing their experiments. With an image manipulation program we altered stationary images, according to the present knowledge about dog-vision. Besides the effect of dogs’ dichromatic vision, the software shows the effect of the lower visual acuity and brightness discrimination, too. Fifty adult humans were tested with pictures showing a female experimenter pointing, gazing or glancing to the left or right side. Half of the pictures were shown after they were altered to a setting that approximated dog vision. Participants had difficulty to find out the direction of glancing when the pictures were in dog-vision mode. Glances in dog-vision setting were followed less correctly and with a slower response time than other cues. Our results are the first that show the visual performance of humans under circumstances that model how dogs’ weaker vision would affect their responses in an ethological experiment. We urge researchers to take into consideration the differences between perceptual abilities of dogs and humans, by developing visual stimuli that fit more appropriately to dogs’ visual capabilities.
Authors:Nathaniel J. Hall Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 April 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Nathaniel J. Hall This review summarizes the research investigating behavioral persistence and resistance to extinction in the dog. The first part of this paper reviews Behavioral Momentum Theory and its applications to Applied Behavior Analysis and training of pet dogs with persistent behavioral problems. I also highlight how research on Behavioral Momentum Theory can be applied to the training of detection dogs in an attempt to enhance detection performance in the presence of behavioral disruptors common in operational settings. In the second part of this review, I highlight more basic research on behavioral persistence with dogs, and how breed differences and experiences with humans as alternative sources of reinforcement can influence dogs’ resistance to extinction of a target behavior. Applied Behavior Analysis and Behavior Momentum Theory have important applications for behavioral treatments to reduce the persistence of problem behavior in dogs and for the development of enhanced training methods that enhance the persistence of working dogs. Dogs can also be leveraged as natural models of stereotypic behavior and for exploring individual differences in behavioral persistence by evaluating breed and environmental variables associated with differences in canine persistance.
Authors:Atsushi Sogabe; Hideki Hamaoka; Atsushi Fukuta; Jun-ya Shibata; Jun Shoji; Koji Omori Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 April 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Atsushi Sogabe, Hideki Hamaoka, Atsushi Fukuta, Jun-ya Shibata, Jun Shoji, Koji Omori A novel type of filial cannibalism has been reported in pipefishes, in which the eggs are absorbed through the male’s brood-pouch epithelium. The present study explored the applicability of stable isotope analysis for the detection of paternal brood cannibalism in the seaweed pipefish Syngnathus schlegeli. As expected, the δ15N values for liver, which conveys short-term dietary information about the recent reproductive season, were higher in males than in females. In contrast, the δ15N values for muscle, which reflects longer-term feeding habits that span both the reproductive and non-reproductive seasons, did not significantly differ between the sexes. This finding indicates that males occupy a higher trophic position than females only during the reproductive season, and it is probable that this difference is a result of paternal uptake of nutrients from embryos in the brood pouch.
Authors:J.J. Ellis; H. Stryhn; J. Spears; M.S. Cockram Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 April 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): J.J. Ellis, H. Stryhn, J. Spears, M.S. Cockram Choices made by cats between different types of environmental enrichment may help shelters to prioritize how to most effectively enrich cat housing, especially when limited by space or funds. This study investigates the environmental enrichment use of cats in a choice test. Twenty-six shelter cats were kept singularly in choice chambers for 10 days. Each chamber had a central area and four centrally-linked compartments containing different types of environmental enrichment: 1) an empty control, 2) a prey-simulating toy, 3) a perching opportunity, and 4) a hiding opportunity. Cat movement between compartments was quantitatively recorded using a data-logger. Enriched compartments were visited significantly more frequently during the light period than during the dark period. Cats spent a significantly greater percentage of time in the hiding compartment (median=55%, IQR=46) than in the toy compartment (median=2%, IQR=9), or in the empty control compartment (median=4%, IQR=4). These results provide additional evidence to support the value of a hiding box to cats housed in a novel environment, in that they choose hiding relative to other types of environmental enrichment.
Authors:C.M. Bradshaw Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 April 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): C.M. Bradshaw Rats were trained under a discrete-trials adjusting-magnitude schedule in which a response on lever A delivered either a larger or a smaller reinforcer (q A1 and q A2) with equal probability, while a response on B delivered a reinforcer whose size q B was adjusted according to the rats’ choices. When A was preferred in a given block of trials, q B was increased in the following block; when B was preferred, q B was reduced in the following block. The oscillating changes in q B, analysed by the Fourier transform, could be described by a power spectrum with a dominant period of about 50 trial blocks. With q A1 held constant, the equilibrium value of q B (q B(50)) was monotonically related to q A2, and exceeded the arithmetic mean of q A1 and q A2 when q A1 was substantially greater than q A2. A model derived from the multiplicative model of intertemporal choice provided a post hoc description of the data. Simulation of block-by-block changes in q B derived from the model were generally consistent with the experimental data. Implications of the results for models of risky choice and for future use of the schedule in neurobehavioural experiments are discussed.
Authors:J.J. McDowell; Olivia L. Calvin; Ryan Hackett; Bryan Klapes Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 March 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): J.J. McDowell, Olivia L. Calvin, Ryan Hackett, Bryan Klapes Two competing predictions of matching theory and an evolutionary theory of behavior dynamics, and one additional prediction of the evolutionary theory, were tested in a critical experiment in which human participants worked on concurrent schedules for money (Dallery, Soto, and McDowell, 2005). The three predictions concerned the descriptive adequacy of matching theory equations, and of equations describing emergent equilibria of the evolutionary theory. Tests of the predictions falsified matching theory and supported the evolutionary theory.
Authors:Paolo Mongillo; Elisa Pitteri; Lieta Marinelli Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 March 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Paolo Mongillo, Elisa Pitteri, Lieta Marinelli Adaptation in human societies requires dogs to pay attention to socially relevant human beings, in contexts that may greatly vary in social complexity. In turn, such selective attention may depend on the dog’s training and involvement in specific activities. Therefore, we recruited untrained pet dogs (N=32), dogs trained for agility (N=32) and for animal assisted interventions (N=32) to investigate differences in attention the owner in relation to the dogs’ training/working experience. Average gaze length and frequency of gaze shifting towards the owner were measured in a ‘baseline attention test’, where dogs were exposed to the owner walking in and out of the experimental room and in a ‘selective attention test’, where the owner’s movements were mirrored by an unfamiliar figurant. In baseline, gazes to the owner by assistance dogs were longer than gazes by untrained dogs, which were longer than gazes by agility dogs. The latter shifted gaze to the owner more frequently than assistance and untrained dogs. In the selective attention test, assistance dogs showed longer and less frequent gazes towards the owner than untrained dogs, with intermediate values for agility dogs. Correlations were found for gaze length between the baseline and selective attention test for untrained and assistance dogs, but not for agility dogs. Therefore, dogs trained for Animal Assisted Interventions express enhanced sustained attention to their owners, and the lack of similar effects in agility dogs suggests that involvement in specific activities is associated with large differences in the patterns of attention paid by dogs to their handler/owner.
Authors:Robert W. Elwood; Natasha Dalton; Gillian Riddell Abstract: Publication date: Available online 29 March 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Robert W. Elwood, Natasha Dalton, Gillian Riddell Nociception is the ability to encode and perceive harmful stimuli and allows for a rapid reflexive withdrawal. In some species, nociception might be accompanied by a pain experience, which is a negative feeling that allows for longer-term changes in behaviour. Different types of stimuli may affect nociceptors, but in crustaceans there is conflicting evidence about the ability to respond to chemical stimuli. This study attempts to resolve this situation by testing behavioural responses of the common shore crab, Carcinus maenas, to two chemical irritants frequently used in vertebrate pain studies (acetic acid and capsaicin). In our first experiment acetic acid, water, capsaicin or mineral oil were applied by brush to the mouth, and in a second experiment treatments were applied to the eyes. Application of acetic acid had a marked effect on behaviour that included vigorous movement of mouth parts, scratching at the mouth with the claws and attempts to escape from the enclosure. Acetic acid also caused holding down of the acid-treated eye in the socket. By contrast, capsaicin had no effect and was no different to the control treatment of mineral oil and water. These results demonstrate responsiveness to acetic acid and thus nociceptive capacity for at least some chemicals. Further, the responses that persist after application were consistent with the idea of pain, however, proof of pain is not possible in any animal.
Authors:Justin C. Strickland; Joshua A. Lile; William W. Stoops Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 March 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Justin C. Strickland, Joshua A. Lile, William W. Stoops Few studies have simultaneously evaluated delay discounting and behavioral economic demand to determine their unique contribution to drug use. A recent study in cannabis users found that monetary delay discounting uniquely predicted cannabis dependence symptoms, whereas cannabis demand uniquely predicted use frequency. This study sought to replicate and extend this research by evaluating delay discounting and behavioral economic demand measures for multiple commodities and including a use quantity measure. Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk was used to sample individuals reporting recent cannabis use (n=64) and controls (n=72). Participants completed measures of monetary delay discounting as well as alcohol and cannabis delay discounting and demand. Cannabis users and controls did not differ on monetary delay discounting or alcohol delay discounting and demand. Among cannabis users, regression analyses indicated that cannabis delay discounting uniquely predicted use severity, whereas cannabis demand uniquely predicted use frequency and quantity. These effects remained significant after controlling for other delay discounting and demand measures. This research replicates previous outcomes relating delay discounting and demand with cannabis use and extends them by accounting for the contribution of multiple commodities. This research also demonstrates the ability of online crowdsourcing methods to complement traditional human laboratory techniques.
Authors:Veronika H Czerwinski; Bradley P Smith; Philip I Hynd; Susan J Hazel Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 March 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Veronika H Czerwinski, Bradley P Smith, Philip I Hynd, Susan J Hazel Our understanding of the frequency and duration of maternal care behaviours in the domestic dog during the first two postnatal weeks is limited, largely due to the inconsistencies in the sampling methodologies that have been employed. In order to develop a more concise picture of maternal care behaviour during this period, and to help establish the sampling method that represents these behaviours best, we compared a variety of time sampling methods Six litters were continuously observed for a total of 96hours over postnatal days 3, 6, 9 and 12 (24hours per day). Frequent (dam presence, nursing duration, contact duration) and infrequent maternal behaviours (anogenital licking duration and frequency) were coded using five different time sampling methods that included: 12-hour night (1800–0600h), 12-hour day (0600–1800h), one hour period during the night (1800–0600h), one hour period during the day (0600–1800h) and a one hour period anytime. Each of the one hour time sampling method consisted of four randomly chosen 15-minute periods. Two random sets of four 15-minute period were also analysed to ensure reliability. We then determined which of the time sampling methods averaged over the three 24-hour periods best represented the frequency and duration of behaviours. As might be expected, frequently occurring behaviours were adequately represented by short (onehour) sampling periods, however this was not the case with the infrequent behaviour. Thus, we argue that that the time sampling methodology employed must match the behaviour of interest. This caution applies to maternal behaviour in altricial species, such as canids, as well as all systematic behavioural observations utilising time sampling methodology.
Authors:Tohru Taniuchi; Ryohei Miyazaki; Md. Abu Bokor Siddik Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 March 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Tohru Taniuchi, Ryohei Miyazaki, Md. Abu Bokor Siddik This experimental series examines rats’ concurrent learning of multiple oddity discrimination and its transfer to novel stimuli. Three rats were trained to discriminate an odd object from five identical objects in a row. After acquisition of the AAAAAB problem, the BBBBBA set was added to training. At the start of concurrent training with both sets, performance on BBBBBA was significantly below chance, suggesting that rats had acquired a tendency to respond to and/or avoid specific features of objects during the initial AAAAAB training. Although all rats learned the two problems reliably, no transfer effect was observed during tests with novel sets CCCCCD and DDDDDC. After the first transfer test, rats performed reliably for stimulus sets AAAAAB, BBBBBA, CCCCCD, and DDDDDC concurrently. Although one rat showed reliable transfer for novel test problems EEEEEF and FFFFFE, the possibility of biased test performance between stimulus sets, by choosing one of two test objects, could not be excluded. However, following the transfer tests, all rats responded significantly to 20 novel problems immediately after they were introduced into training. These findings offer evidence of rats’ capacity for concurrent oddity discrimination using multiple stimulus sets, as well as preliminary evidence of relational oddity learning in rats.
Authors:Sylvie Droit-Volet Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 March 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Sylvie Droit-Volet This experiment examined the effect of a train of regular repetitive clicks of different frequencies (8Hz, 20Hz) on time judgment in a bisection task in children aged 5 and 8 years old and adults with two duration ranges (200/800 and 400/1600ms). Participants’ scores on neurospychological tests assessing memory, information processing speed and different components of attention control were also measured. The results showed that a train of clicks produced a time dilation in the children as well as in the adults, with the result that the perceived duration was judged to last longer with than without clicks. However, the time dilation reached a maximum level at a lower click frequency value (8Hz) in the children than in the adults (20Hz). In addition, beyond this click value (8Hz), a reversal effect was observed in the youngest children, who responded “long” less often, while the time dilation was extended in the adults. In addition, while the differences in the time dilation between the click and the no-click condition were not correlated with the individual cognitive capacities, those that occurred when the click frequency increased from 8 to 20Hz were significantly correlated with individual capacities in terms of attention and working memory. The hypothesis of a slower internal clock in the younger children is discussed as are the attentional interference processes involved in the click effect on time judgment.
Authors:Laerciana Silva de Souza Matos; Rupert Palme; Angélica da Silva Vasconcellos Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 March 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Laerciana Silva de Souza Matos, Rupert Palme, Angélica da Silva Vasconcellos Social species in captivity may face allostatic overload due to artificial grouping and other social constraints. In rescue centres, groups of psittacines are constantly mixed due to the arrival and/or release of individuals; this procedure is potentially harmful to animal welfare. This study aimed at evaluating the possible impacts of mate replacement on the stress levels of captive blue-fronted amazon parrots (Amazona aestiva). During five weeks, we recorded agonistic interactions and dropping-glucocorticoid metabolites (GCM) concentrations of individuals allocated in a group whose members were kept constant and in a group subjected to frequent member replacement. In both groups, non-linear hierarchies developed, without sex differences regarding aggression or hierarchical positions. The replacement of individuals had no effect on the number of agonistic interactions or on the animals’ stress levels. In both groups, higher-ranking individuals had higher stress loads than subordinates. Our study, the first to investigate the social dynamics of A. aestiva, indicated that introducing or removing individuals in captive groups does not seem to affect the welfare of the birds in the short term. This information favours release and reintroduction programs and is relevant for conservation management of this, and possibly other parrot species with similar environmental requirements.
Authors:Sonja C. Ludwig; Katharina Kapetanopoulos; Kurt Kotrschal; Claudia A.F. Wascher Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 March 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Sonja C. Ludwig, Katharina Kapetanopoulos, Kurt Kotrschal, Claudia A.F. Wascher The presence of a social partner may significantly contribute to coping with stressful events, whereas dyadic separation generally increases glucocorticoid levels and, thereby, might also affect immune function and health. To study the covariation between social factors, immuno-reactive corticosterone metabolites, haematology and parasite product excretion patterns in a free-living, long-term monogamous bird, we separated pair mates in Greylag geese (Anser anser). We isolated the males of eight pairs for 48hours to examine behavioural, adrenocortical, haematological and parasitological responses to mate removal in the female partners, and to social isolation in the males. Females showed no elevated levels of corticosterone metabolites in their droppings, but their haematocrit decreased during mate removal, whereas leucocyte number and heterophil/lymphocyte (H/L) ratio remained unchanged. In contrast, the socially isolated males excreted significantly elevated levels of corticosterone metabolites compared to baseline and showed a decrease in haematocrit as well as elevated leucocyte number and H/L ratio. In both sexes, the excretion of coccidian oocysts increased within 48hours of the start of the separation, remained high one week after separation, and returned to baseline four weeks later. Described effects were generally more pronounced in males than in females. Our results suggest relatively swift potential health effects of mate loss and social isolation in an unfamiliar confinement in free-living geese.
Authors:Georgina E. Carvell; Robert R. Jackson; Fiona R. Cross Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 February 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Georgina E. Carvell, Robert R. Jackson, Fiona R. Cross Evarcha culicivora, an East African salticid spider, is a mosquito specialist and it is also a plant specialist, with juveniles visiting plants primarily for acquiring nectar meals and adults visiting plants primarily as mating sites. The hypothesis we consider here is that there are ontogenetic shifts in cognition-related responses by E. culicivora to plant odour. Our experiments pertain to cross-modality priming effects in three specific contexts: executing behaviour that we call the ‘visual inspection of plants’ (Experiment 1), adopting selective visual attention to specific visual targets (Experiment 2) and becoming prepared to respond rapidly to specific visual targets (Experiment 3). Our findings appear not to be a consequence of salient odours in general elevating E. culicivora’s motivation to respond to salient visual stimuli. Instead, effects were specific to particular odours paired with particular visual targets, with the salient volatile plant compounds being caryophyllene and humulene. We found evidence that prey odour primes juveniles and adults to respond to seeing specifically prey, mate odour primes adults to respond to seeing specifically mates and plant odour primes juveniles to respond to seeing specifically flowers. However, plant odour appears to prime adults to respond to seeing specifically a mate associated with a plant.
Authors:Nadège Aigueperse; Florent Pittet; Emmanuel de Margerie; Céline Nicolle; Cécilia Houdelier; Sophie Lumineau Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 February 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Nadège Aigueperse, Florent Pittet, Emmanuel de Margerie, Céline Nicolle, Cécilia Houdelier, Sophie Lumineau Mothers have a crucial influence on offspring development. Variations of maternal behaviour can be due to numerous parameters, for instance costs are related to the size of a brood/litter, which in turn can influence the level of mothers’ investment in each offspring. Here we investigated the influence of brood size on the behaviour of Japanese quail mothers and chicks during the mothering period and on offspring development. We compared two types of broods: small broods of three chicks (N=9) and large broods of six chicks (N=9). Behavioural tests assessed chicks’ social and emotional traits. Mothers of large broods emitted more maternal vocalisations at the beginning of the mothering period, but at the end they assumed more non-covering postures and trampled chicks more than mothers of small broods. Chicks in large broods huddled up more whereas chicks in small broods rested alone more frequently. Moreover, the social motivation of chicks in large broods was higher than that of chicks in small broods, although their emotional reactivity levels were similar. Our results evidence the importance of brood size for maintaining family cohesion and the influence of brood size on chicks’ interactions with their siblings. We evaluated the influence of mothers and siblings on chicks’ behavioural development.
Authors:Sundararaj Vijayan; Burt P. Kotler; Zvika Abramsky Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 February 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Sundararaj Vijayan, Burt P. Kotler, Zvika Abramsky Prey individuals are often distributed heterogeneously in the environment, and their abundances and relative availabilities vary among patches. A foraging predator should maximize energetic gains by selectively choosing patches with higher prey density. However, catching behaviorally responsive and group-forming prey in patchy environments can be a challenge for predators. First, they have to identify the profitable patches, and second, they must manage the prey's sophisticated anti-predator behavior. Thus, the forager and its prey have to continuously adjust their behavior to that of their opponent. Given these conditions, the foraging predator's behavior should be dynamic with time in terms of foraging effort and prey capture rates across different patches. Theoretically, the allocation of its time among patches of behaviorally responsive prey should be such that it equalizes its prey capture rates across patches through time. We tested this prediction in a model system containing a predator (little egret) and group-forming prey (common gold fish) in two sets of experiments in which (1) patches (pools) contained equal numbers of prey, or in which (2) patches contained unequal densities of prey. The egret equalized the prey capture rate through time in both equal and different density experiments.
Authors:Amanda L. Dookie; Courtney A. Young; Gilles Lamothe; Laura A. Schoenle; Jayne E. Yack Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 February 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Amanda L. Dookie, Courtney A. Young, Gilles Lamothe, Laura A. Schoenle, Jayne E. Yack Many insects produce sounds when attacked by a predator, yet the functions of these signals are poorly understood. It is debated whether such sounds function as startle, warning or alarm signals, or merely serve to augment other defences. Direct evidence is limited owing to difficulties in disentangling the effects of sounds from other defences that often occur simultaneously in live insects. We conducted an experiment to test whether an insect sound can function as a deimatic (i.e. startle) display. Variations of a whistle of the walnut sphinx caterpillar (Amorpha juglandis) were presented to a predator, red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), when birds activated a sensor while feeding on mealworms (Tenebrio molitor). Birds exposed to whistles played back at natural sound levels exhibited significantly higher startle scores (by flying away, flinching, and hopping) and took longer to return to the feeding dish than during control conditions where no sounds were played. Birds habituated to sounds during a one-hour session, but after two days the startling effects were restored. Our results provide empirical evidence that an insect sound alone can function as a deimatic display against an avian predator. We discuss how whistles might be particularly effective ‘acoustic eye spots’ on avian predators.
Authors:Irena Schneiderová; Elena V. Volodina; Vera A. Matrosova; Ilya A. Volodin Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 February 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Irena Schneiderová, Elena V. Volodina, Vera A. Matrosova, Ilya A. Volodin Ground squirrels emit species-specific alarm calls that, among other characteristics, differ by the number of elements. Unlike some species that produce single-element calls, e.g., the Speckled ground squirrel (Spermophilus suslicus), individual European ground squirrels (S. citellus) frequently emit binary-element calls in addition to single-element calls. We tested the hypothesis that the time stability of individuality encoded in alarm calls might be better retained by complicating their acoustic structure by adding extra elements. In a semi-captive colony of individually marked European ground squirrels, we repeatedly recorded alarm calls that were produced towards a human by 12 adult (2 males and 10 females) live-trapped animals. Repeated recordings occurred within time spans of a few hours, 2days and 1year from the first recording. Our results showed that individual calls were highly similar within recordings, but less similar between recordings separated by time spans. Individual differences were best retained when we used nine acoustic variables from both elements. The differences were worse when we used nine variables from only the first element and worst when we used nine variables from only the second element. These results supported the caller reliability hypothesis for species that produce multiple-note alarms, e.g., the Richardson’s ground squirrel (S. richardsonii).
Authors:John Y.H. Bai; Christopher A. Podlesnik Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 February 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): John Y.H. Bai, Christopher A. Podlesnik Greater rates of intermittent reinforcement in the presence of discriminative stimuli generally produce greater resistance to extinction, consistent with predictions of behavioral momentum theory. Other studies reveal more rapid extinction with higher rates of reinforcers − the partial reinforcement extinction effect. Further, repeated extinction often produces more rapid decreases in operant responding due to learning a discrimination between training and extinction contingencies. The present study examined extinction repeatedly with training with different rates of intermittent reinforcement in a multiple schedule. We assessed whether repeated extinction would reverse the pattern of greater resistance to extinction with greater reinforcer rates. Counter to this prediction, resistance to extinction was consistently greater across twelve assessments of training followed by six successive sessions of extinction. Moreover, patterns of responding during extinction resembled those observed during satiation tests, which should not alter discrimination processes with repeated testing. These findings join others suggesting operant responding in extinction can be durable across repeated tests.
Authors:Michael R. Duggan; Julia Lee-Soety; Matthew J. Anderson Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 February 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Michael R. Duggan, Julia Lee-Soety, Matthew J. Anderson The current study further characterized personality types in Budgerigars, an avian model that only recently demonstrated individual consistencies in behavior (Callicrate et al., 2011). Several methodological techniques, commonly used in previous examinations of other animal models, were employed. Specifically, Phase I assessed the relationship between Budgerigar personality types and Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) activity, while Phase II sought to examine the persistence of individual behavioral tendencies across varying testing contexts. In comparison to other species, our findings failed to illustrate a clear relationship between Budgerigar personality types and concentrations of corticosterone. However, results provided significant evidence for the consistency of personalities across multiple contexts. In sum, our investigation further defined the expression of personality in the Budgerigar and substantiated the claim for individual tendencies in this species.
Authors:Heather M. Hill; Sara Guarino; Amber Calvillo; Antonio Gonzalez; Kristy Zuniga; Chris Bellows; Lori Polasek; Christy Sims Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 February 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Heather M. Hill, Sara Guarino, Amber Calvillo, Antonio Gonzalez, Kristy Zuniga, Chris Bellows, Lori Polasek, Christy Sims Research with wild belugas has indicated that, during mother-calf swims, calves spend more time on their mothers’ right side, which enables the calves to maintain visual contact with their mothers using their left eye. This bias may facilitate processing of social information by the right hemisphere, much like human and non-human primates and other animals. The current study explored the social laterality of the Cook Inlet, AK beluga population in comparison to a beluga population in managed care. As expected, the results indicated that the calves spent more time on the mothers’ right side than the left for both populations. We also examined the developmental trend for the belugas in managed care and found that the calves generally preferred to swim on their mother's right side across most months, although there was an inversion during the third quarter when a left-side preference appeared. Individual differences were present. The results corroborate previous research conducted with two wild beluga populations from the White Sea and from the Sea of Okhotsk in which a left-eye bias was displayed by calves when swimming with their mothers. In conclusion, a preference for a lateralized swim position appears to be conserved across wild and managed care settings, and this lateralized swim position may facilitate the processing of social information or familiar stimuli for the calves.
Authors:Catherine Mary Young; Kristal Elaine Cain; Nina Svedin; Patricia Ruth Yvonne Backwell; Sarah Rosalind Pryke Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 February 2017 Source:Behavioural Processes Author(s): Catherine Mary Young, Kristal Elaine Cain, Nina Svedin, Patricia Ruth Yvonne Backwell, Sarah Rosalind Pryke Quantifying differences in aggressive behaviour across contexts can be useful in developing an understanding of life histories and breeding systems, as well as the relative costs and benefits of such behaviour. We investigated whether age, relative body size and colouration, sex, and breeding stage influenced levels of aggressive behaviour in two contexts, towards conspecific and heterospecific intruders (mounts) around active nests of group living Crimson Finches (Neochmia phaeton). We found that when responding to a conspecific mount, relative body size, and age were important in predicting the aggressive response of males toward a conspecific, with older males and those close in size to their opponent showing a higher aggressive response. On the other hand, factors relating to female aggression were not as clear. In contrast, response to a heterospecific mount was unrelated to age, colour or size in either sex. Additionally, although birds were equally aggressive to conspecific and heterospecific mount types, we found no evidence that individuals are consistent in their level of aggression across these contexts. This suggests that aggressive behaviour in Crimson Finches is at least partially plastic and that individuals may be capable of assessing and responding to situations independently.