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  Subjects -> PSYCHOLOGY (Total: 940 journals)
Showing 1 - 174 of 174 Journals sorted alphabetically
Acción Psicológica     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Acta Colombiana de Psicología     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Acta Comportamentalia     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Acta de Investigación Psicológica     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Acta Psychologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27)
Activités     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Actualidades en Psicologia     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ad verba Liberorum : Journal of Linguistics & Pedagogy & Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Addictive Behaviors Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23)
ADHD Report The     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Advances in Experimental Social Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 44)
Advances in Mental Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 76)
Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Advances in Physiotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 61)
Advances in Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 62)
Advances in the Study of Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 31)
African Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology and Sport Facilitation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Aggression and Violent Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 443)
Aggressive Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 42)
Ágora - studies in psychoanalytic theory     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Aletheia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
American Behavioral Scientist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
American Imago     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
American Journal of Applied Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 43)
American Journal of Community Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28)
American Journal of Health Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 23)
American Journal of Orthopsychiatry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
American Journal of Psychoanalysis     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
American Journal of Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 33)
American Psychologist     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 197)
Anales de Psicología     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Análise Psicológica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Análisis y Modificación de Conducta     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Analitika : Jurnal Magister Psikologi Uma     Open Access  
Analysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Annual Review of Clinical Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 74)
Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 33)
Annual Review of Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 241)
Anuario de investigaciones (Facultad de Psicología. Universidad de Buenos Aires)     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Anuario de Psicología / The UB Journal of Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Anuario de Psicología Jurídica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Anxiety, Stress & Coping: An International Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
Applied and Preventive Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Applied Cognitive Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 75)
Applied Neuropsychology : Adult     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 40)
Applied Neuropsychology : Child     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
Applied Psycholinguistics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22)
Applied Psychological Measurement     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
Applied Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 164)
Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 52)
Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Archive for the Psychology of Religion / Archiv für Religionspychologie     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24)
Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 30)
Archives of Scientific Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Arquivos Brasileiros de Psicologia     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Art Therapy Online     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Asia Pacific Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Asia-Pacific Psychiatry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Asian American Journal of Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Asian Journal of Behavioural Studies     Open Access  
Asian Journal of Business Ethics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Assessment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Attention, Perception & Psychophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Australasian Journal of Organisational Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Psychodrama Association Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist, The     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Australian Journal of Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counseling     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Australian Psychologist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Autism Insights     Open Access   (Followers: 13)
Autism Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 41)
Autism Research and Treatment     Open Access   (Followers: 26)
Autism's Own     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Autism-Open Access     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Avaliação Psicológica     Open Access  
Avances en Psicologia Latinoamericana     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Aviation Psychology and Applied Human Factors     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
Balint Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Barbaroi     Open Access  
Basic and Applied Social Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 41)
Behavior Analysis in Practice     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Behavior Analysis: Research and Practice     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Behavior Analyst     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Behavior Modification     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Behavior Research Methods     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Behavior Therapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 51)
Behavioral Development Bulletin     Full-text available via subscription  
Behavioral Interventions     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Behavioral Neuroscience     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 55)
Behavioral Sciences & the Law     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26)
Behavioral Sleep Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Behaviormetrika     Hybrid Journal  
Behaviour     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Behaviour Change     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Behaviour Research and Therapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 140)
Behavioural Processes     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Biofeedback     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
BioPsychoSocial Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
BMC Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 17)
Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy: An International Journal for Theory, Research and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Boletim Academia Paulista de Psicologia     Open Access  
Boletim de Psicologia     Open Access  
Brain Informatics     Open Access  
British Journal of Clinical Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 154)
British Journal of Developmental Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 37)
British Journal of Educational Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 36)
British Journal of Health Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 46)
British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20)
British Journal of Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 61)
British Journal of Psychotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 68)
British Journal of Social Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 34)
Buletin Psikologi     Open Access  
Burnout Research     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Cadernos de psicanálise (Rio de Janeiro)     Open Access  
Cadernos de Psicologia Social do Trabalho     Open Access  
Canadian Art Therapy Association     Hybrid Journal  
Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Canadian Psychology / Psychologie canadienne     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Castalia : Revista de Psicología de la Academia     Open Access  
Cendekia : Jurnal Kependidikan dan Kemasyarakatan     Open Access  
Child Development Perspectives     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 30)
Child Development Research     Open Access   (Followers: 18)
Ciencia Cognitiva     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Ciencia e Interculturalidad     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Ciências & Cognição     Open Access  
Ciencias Psicológicas     Open Access  
Clínica y Salud     Open Access  
Clinical Medicine Insights : Psychiatry     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
Clinical Psychological Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Clinical Psychologist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 73)
Clinical Psychology and Special Education     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Clinical Psychology Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 41)
Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 22)
Clinical Schizophrenia & Related Psychoses     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Coaching : Theorie & Praxis     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Coaching Psykologi - The Danish Journal of Coaching Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Cogent Psychology     Open Access  
Cógito     Open Access  
Cognition & Emotion     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 43)
Cognitive Behaviour Therapist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Cognitive Neuropsychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 35)
Cognitive Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 74)
Cognitive Research : Principles and Implications     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Consciousness and Cognition     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32)
Construção Psicopedagógica     Open Access  
Consulting Psychology Journal : Practice and Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Contagion : Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Contemporary Educational Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28)
Contemporary School Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Contextos Clínicos     Open Access  
Counseling et spiritualité / Counselling and Spirituality     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Counseling Psychologist     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy     Open Access   (Followers: 12)
Counselling and Psychotherapy Research : Linking research with practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 27)
Counselling and Values     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Counselling Psychology Quarterly     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Couple and Family Psychoanalysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Couple and Family Psychology : Research and Practice     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Creativity Research Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24)
Creativity. Theories ? Research ? Applications     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Criminal Justice Ethics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Cuadernos de Neuropsicología     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Cuadernos de Psicologia del Deporte     Open Access  
Cuadernos de Psicopedagogía     Open Access  
Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17)
Cultural-Historical Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Culturas Psi     Open Access  
Culture and Brain     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Current Addiction Reports     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Current Directions In Psychological Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 61)
Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Current Opinion in Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Current Psychological Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Current Psychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Current psychology letters     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Current Research in Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 17)
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Decision     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Depression and Anxiety     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24)
Depression Research and Treatment     Open Access   (Followers: 14)
Development and Psychopathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience     Open Access   (Followers: 18)
Developmental Neuropsychology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 20)
Developmental Psychobiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Developmental Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 47)
Diagnostica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Dialectica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Discourse     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Diversitas : Perspectivas en Psicologia     Open Access  

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Journal Cover
Behavioural Processes
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.849
Citation Impact (citeScore): 2
Number of Followers: 8  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0376-6357
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3159 journals]
  • Corrigendum to “Choosing the right delay-discounting task: Completion
           times and rates of nonsystematic data” [Behav. Processes 151 (2018)
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 153Author(s): Jillian M. Rung, Thomas M. Argyle, Jodi L. Siri, Gregory J. Madden
  • Spatial behaviour of an overlooked alien squirrel: The case of Siberian
           chipmunks Eutamias sibiricus
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 153Author(s): Rudy Zozzoli, Mattia Menchetti, Emiliano MoriAbstractAlien species of concern within the European Union have been recently listed and their populations need to be monitored, to plan addressed eradication or control programs. Therefore, the assessment of their presence should be rapidly carried out, particularly for elusive species or for those living at low densities. The Siberian chipmunk Eutamias sibiricus is a ground-dwelling squirrel, naturally distributed in northern and eastern Asia. Many introduced populations occur in Europe and Italy too. This species has been listed within the invasive species concern within the European Union and, thus, monitoring is mandatory to manage its potential range expansion. We carried out a hair-tube survey on 31 wood patches in northern and central Italy, where reproductive populations of Siberian chipmunk have been recorded. Hair tubes provided reliable data in assessing the presence of the Siberian chipmunk, with only 1% pseudo-absence and a high detection probability. The occurrence of Siberian chipmunk was positively influenced by study site and by the distance from release site, confirming low dispersal abilities by this species. Dense understorey also affected the presence of chipmunks, preventing them to search for food on the ground and to dig burrows.
  • Behavioral variation post-invasion: Resemblance in some, but not all,
           behavioral patterns among invasive and native praying mantids
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 153Author(s): Cameron Jones, Nicolas DiRienzoAbstractAnimal invasions can be devastating for native species. Behavioral variation is known to influence animal invasions, yet comparatively less is known about how behavioral variation influences invasive-native species interactions. Here we examined how the mean and variance surrounding several behavioral traits in two sympatric species of praying mantis differ and how these behavioral types translate to actual prey capture success using the introduced European mantis, Mantis religiosa, and the native bordered mantis, Stagmomantis limbata. We assayed time spent in the open (risk proneness), response towards a novel prey, and voracity within a population of M. religiosa and S. limbata. We found that the native and invasive mantids displayed no differences in their average behavioral tendencies. The native exhibited significant levels of repeatability in voracity while the invasive did not. The lack of repeatability in the invasive appears to be driven by lower levels of among-individual variation in voracity. This may have evolutionary consequences for native S. limbata if it results in strong selection in native levels of mean and among-individual variation. Significant levels of among-individual differences were found in other behaviors (response to a novel prey and risk proneness) across species, suggesting less selection on invasive behavioral variation in these traits. Risk proneness and response towards a novel prey also formed a behavioral syndrome across species, yet neither behavior was correlated with voracity in either species. Our results illustrate the need to examine the ecological effects of behavioral variation of both invasive and native species to determine how that might impact invasive-native interactions.
  • Influence of second outcome on monetary discounting
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 153Author(s): David J. Cox, Jesse DalleryAbstractThe rates that an outcome (e.g., money) loses value as delay increases or probability decreases are called delay and probability discounting, respectively. Discounting is typically studied by asking participants to make choices between two options that vary in amount and delay (e.g., $50 now vs. $100 in 3 months) or probability (e.g., 100% chance of $50 vs. 60% chance of $100). Little is known about how more complex options affect discounting. We asked participants (N = 56) to choose between two options that each resulted in two outcomes (e.g., getting $50 now and losing $1000 in 6 months vs. getting $100 in 3 months and losing $500 now). The second outcome varied across a range of delays and probabilities. Results indicated the probability of the second outcome had a greater influence on rates of discounting compared to the delay to the second outcome. Increasing the probability of the loss decreased rates of discounting the first outcome (i.e., increased preference for the larger-later alternative). Finally, a multiplicative model best described discounting of two, delayed-and-probabilistic outcomes. This suggests the value of two outcomes interact to influence rates of discounting.
  • Social environment as a factor affecting exploration and learning in
           pre-juvenile rats
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 153Author(s): Klaudia Modlinska, Rafał Stryjek, Anna Chrzanowska, Wojciech PisulaAbstractStress associated with social isolation in early life can lead to disturbances in the emotional regulation in adult rats. However, there are no reports on the impact of isolation from the mother while providing contact with peers. Under such conditions, young individuals have the opportunity to interact with others, are able to develop social behaviour, etc. Yet, there is no stimulation and care provided by the mother.We examined the relative impact of maternal contact and sibling contact in the rarely studied pre-juvenile (3rd and 4th week post birth) period on subsequent development. An experiment was designed to compare the impact of different social environments on the animals’ behaviour in adulthood. There were three breeding conditions: young with mother, young with peers, and standard breeding conditions. Adult rats were subjected to a T-Maze test to measure the level of exploratory behaviour. Spatial learning was assessed by placing water bottles in the side corridors.The analysis revealed that a distorted environment during the development process has a negative impact on the rats’ emotional regulation and a subtle effect on related aspects of adaptive behaviours (i.e. exploration). In the pre-juvenile period, to some degree, contact with peers may be complementary to the mother’s influence.
  • Are laboratory studies on behavior of troglobitic species always
           trustful' A case study with an isopod from Brazil
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 153Author(s): Ana Paula Bueno da Silva, Isabel Pires Mascarenhas Ribeiro Oliveira, Rafaela Bastos-Pereira, Rodrigo Lopes FerreiraAbstractThere is a huge lack of information regarding the natural history of subterranean species, particularly focusing on aspects of the behavioral ecology of Brazilian cave fauna. In the present work, we aimed to describe and evaluate the behavioral repertoire of Xangoniscus itacarambiensis (Isopoda, Styloniscidae) through observations in the field and laboratory and also by means of complementary experiments. Overall, we recorded 25 spontaneous behaviors. Besides describing the physical habitat, we recorded some intraspecific interactions, agonistic and territorial behaviors, as well as the amphibian habit. There was a direct relationship between the size of travertine dams where they live (measurements of length and width) and the mean number of individuals, although there was no significant correlation with the pool depth. Behaviors observed in the laboratory differed qualitatively and quantitatively from those observed in the field, with individuals more active in the latter. This scenario alerts about the significant behavioral alteration of such isopods when removed from their natural habitat, what must be considered in future behavioral studies including troglobites given their natural sensitivity to environmental changes.
  • Factors that influence the onset of parental care in zebra finches: Roles
           for egg stimuli and prolactin
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 153Author(s): Kristina O. Smiley, Elizabeth Adkins-ReganAbstractParental care is a critical component for determining reproductive success both for a current set of offspring but also over the lifetime of the individual. The hormone prolactin has often been implicated as a parental care hormone across taxa but causal relationships have only been strongly demonstrated in mammals and in a few select species of birds. For instance, in mammals, maternal care towards foster pups can be induced by exogenous treatment with prolactin, in concert with other reproductive hormones involved in pregnancy. We aimed to address this causal mechanism in birds by artificially elevating prolactin during the nest building and egg laying stages using vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and then exposing them to foster chicks. We predicted that increasing prolactin would increase brooding and feeding behaviors towards foster chicks compared to the saline control group. Parental behavior towards foster chicks was only shown by individuals who had initiated clutches regardless of treatment. VIP treatment had no effect on parental behavior; however, a positive relationship was found between male and female feeding rates in the VIP but not control group. Our results suggest that both eggs and chicks are sufficient to stimulate foster care, perhaps through endogenous prolactin signalling, while further elevations of prolactin may serve to synchronize parental behaviors between pairs.
  • Effects of rearing environment and population origin on responses to
           repeated behavioural trials in cane toads (Rhinella marina)
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 153Author(s): Jodie Gruber, Martin J. Whiting, Gregory Brown, Richard ShineAbstractBehavioural responses to repeated trials in captivity can be driven by many factors including rearing environment, population of origin, habituation to captivity/trial conditions and an individual’s behavioural type (e.g., bold versus shy). We tested the effect of rearing environment (captive raised common-garden versus wild-caught) and population origin (range-edge versus range-front) on the responses of invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) to repeated exploration and risk-taking assays in captivity. We found that behavioural responses to identical assays performed on two occasions were complex and showed few consistent patterns based on rearing environment or population of origin. However, behavioural traits were repeatable across Trial Blocks when all sample populations were grouped together, indicating general consistency in individual toad behaviour across repeated behavioural assays. Our findings exemplify the complexity and unpredictability of behavioural responses and their effects on the repeatability and interpretation of behavioural traits across repeated behavioural assays in captivity. To meaningfully interpret the results from repeated behavioural assays, we need to consider how multiple factors may affect behavioural responses to these tests and importantly, how these responses may affect the repeatability of behavioural traits across time.
  • Combined effects of physiological condition and environmental attributes
           in determining call plasticity
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 153Author(s): Lucia Ziegler, Matias Arim, Francisco BozinovicAbstractEvidence is growing on the ability of anurans to make immediate call adjustments in response to the propagation properties of the environment. However, our understanding of such flexibility is typically based on dichotomous stimuli (i.e. presence/absence), while its condition-dependence has been little explored. We experimentally studied the ability of adjustment and its condition dependence of advertisement calls of Hypsiboas pulchellus in response to different levels of attenuation. Individuals modified most call parameters analyzed, although the direction of adjustments was contingent on individual identity, level of attenuation and trait category (i.e. spectral or temporal). Under low attenuation conditions males lengthened some call elements, partially supporting the hypothesis of plasticity oriented towards maintaining signal transmission, but this trend was not present in the high attenuation treatment. Also, under both attenuation treatments males gave higher frequency notes, as expected from an energy-saving response to changes in social environment or reducing attractiveness due to risk perception. Across treatments individuals in better condition tended to exhibit higher plasticity. These results indicate that call structure could depend on the integration of different cues such as habitat propagation characteristics, acoustic competition for females, and predation risk, while the ability to behave flexibly depends on current body reserves.
  • Habitat selection of intertidal caprellid amphipods in a changing scenario
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 153Author(s): G. Martínez-Laiz, M. Ros, C. Navarro-Barranco, J.M. Guerra-GarcíaAbstractHabitat selection is a complex process, dependent on numerous fluctuating conditions and key to species coexistence. In a changing global scenario, it will greatly determine the fate of marine organisms and hence is an important subject to be explored. The present study evaluates host specificity of two caprellid amphipod species, Caprella grandimana and Caprella takeuchii, dwelling on a rocky intertidal where the calcifying macroalgae Jania rubens and Ellisolandia elongata show opposite seasonal fluctuation patterns throughout the year. To avoid confounding preference with other factors, the substrate selection experimental design included both multiple choice and non-choice treatments. Macroalgal structure analyses using fractals and interstitial space index were included in the study, as substrate complexity is a main factor driving preference for epifauna. Caprella grandimana actively selected J. rubens, whereas C. takeuchii did not show any preference; both behaviours remaining consistent regardless of the original substrate. Preference for J. rubens is probably owed to its interstitial space and thalli characteristics, as the complexity analysis suggested, since these allow for better refuge against predators and a more suitable surface for grasping. Meanwhile, the plasticity of C. takeuchii seems to favor an ongoing taking over of its congener at the time of the year when J. rubens drops. We highlight the need for rigor when performing substrate selection experiments; the importance of including habitat selection lessons in conservation strategies and modelling studies dealing with global change; and the risk in generalizing results within the family or genus level, which is occasionally inadequate for understanding the functioning of the ecosystem as a whole.
  • Taste as a marker for behavioral energy regulation:Replication and
           extension of meal pattern evidence from selectively bred rats
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 153Author(s): Nancy K. Dess, Kira R. Schreiber, Gabriel M. Winter, Clinton D. ChapmanAbstractA key feature of energy regulation among species that eat discrete meals is meal patterning – meal frequency, size, and duration. Such animals can adjust to internal states and external circumstances with changes in one or more of those meal parameters, with or without altering total food intake. Relatively little is known about individual differences in meal patterning. We previously reported meal patterning differences between rat lines selectively bred for differential saccharin solution intake, lines that also differ in sensitivity to metabolic challenges: Relative to high-saccharin-consuming counterparts (HiS), male low-saccharin-consuming rats (LoS) ate smaller, more frequent meals. Those findings provided evidence of an association between taste and short term satiety. Twenty generations later, we describe systematic replication of the line difference in meal patterns in males and females using two different kinds of reinforcer pellet. The previous study was further extended by examining meal parameters (1) with bi- and multivariate analyses and (2) after acute food restriction and a moderate stressor. Results are discussed within a behavior-systems framework incorporating taste as a marker for behavioral energy regulation.
  • Sexual selection on the multicomponent display of black morph male
           Girardinus metallicus (Pisces: Poeciliidae)
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 153Author(s): E.M. Wojan, S.M. Bertram, D.A. Clendenen, C. Castillo, H.M. Neldner, G.R. KolluruAbstractSexually selected displays often include suites of integrated traits. Black morph males of the poeciliid fish Girardinus metallicus perform courtship and aggressive displays that exhibit their conspicuous yellow and black coloration. Body size, gonopodium size and ventral black area are correlated with intermale aggression, which is key for access to mates. A previous study showed that females may prefer dominant males prior to watching them fight; however, that result was obtained in trials that allowed for male-male interactions across partitions, and to date no study has uncovered the traits important in female choice. We performed a more comprehensive investigation of the multicomponent sexual display including measures of male yellow hue, saturation and brightness. We examined the behavior of size-matched males paired to maximize the difference in yellow saturation, and measured female choice exclusive of male-male interactions and chemical cues. We found no female preference for any traits in the multicomponent sexual display. Males with brighter and more saturated yellow coloration were more likely to be dominant, and dominant males courted and attempted copulations more. Our results suggest that yellow coloration is sexually selected; however, the courtship display requires further investigation because we did not identify targets of female preference, and we discuss possible explanations for this finding.
  • Stability of a behavioural syndrome vs. plasticity in individual
           behaviours over the breeding cycle: Ultimate and proximate explanations
    • Abstract: Publication date: August 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 153Author(s): Alfréd Trnka, Peter Samaš, Tomáš GrimAbstractAnimals often show correlated suites of consistent behavioural traits, i.e., personality or behavioural syndromes. Does this conflict with potential phenotypic plasticity which should be adaptive for animals facing various contexts and situations' This fundamental question has been tested predominantly in studies which were done in non-breeding contexts and under laboratory conditions. Therefore, in the present study we examined the temporal stability of behavioural correlations in a breeding context and under natural conditions. We found that in the great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) females, the intensity of their nest defence formed a behavioural syndrome with two other traits: their aggression during handling (self-defence) and stress responses during handling (breath rate). This syndrome was stable across the nesting cycle: each of the three behavioural traits was highly statistically repeatable between egg and nestling stages and the traits were strongly correlated with each other during both the egg stage and the nestling stage. Despite this consistency (i.e., rank order between stages) the individual behaviours changed their absolute values significantly during the same period. This shows that stable behavioural syndromes might be based on behaviours that are themselves unstable. Thus, syndromes do not inevitably constrain phenotypic plasticity. We suggest that the observed behavioural syndrome is the product of interactions between behavioural and life history trade-offs and that crucial proximate mechanisms for the plasticity and correlations between individual behaviours are hormonally-regulated.
  • Ultimate explanations and suboptimal choice
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 152Author(s): Marco Vasconcelos, Armando Machado, Josefa N.S. PandeiradaAbstractResearchers have unraveled multiple cases in which behavior deviates from rationality principles. We propose that such deviations are valuable tools to understand the adaptive significance of the underpinning mechanisms. To illustrate, we discuss in detail an experimental protocol in which animals systematically incur substantial foraging losses by preferring a lean but informative option over a rich but non-informative one. To understand how adaptive mechanisms may fail to maximize food intake, we review a model inspired by optimal foraging principles that reconciles sub-optimal choice with the view that current behavioral mechanisms were pruned by the optimizing action of natural selection. To move beyond retrospective speculation, we then review critical tests of the model, regarding both its assumptions and its (sometimes counterintuitive) predictions, all of which have been upheld. The overall contention is that (a) known mechanisms can be used to develop better ultimate accounts and that (b) to understand why mechanisms that generate suboptimal behavior evolved, we need to consider their adaptive value in the animal’s characteristic ecology.
  • Drug-sensitive Reward in Crayfish: Exploring the Neural Basis of Addiction
           with Automated Learning Paradigms
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 152Author(s): Robert Huber, Adebobola Imeh-Nathaniel, Thomas I. Nathaniel, Sayali Gore, Udita Datta, Rohan Bhimani, Jules B. Panksepp, Jaak Panksepp, Moira J. van StaadenResults of recent work from our labs and those of others have broadened perspectives on addiction beyond a human-specific, cognitive phenomenon. Addictive plant alkaloids are defensive compounds which have arisen to counter herbivory. With insects the true targets of the coevolutionary arms race, humans may be little more than collateral damage when impacted by ‘human’ drugs of abuse. The present paper summarizes recent contributions, with a primary focus on our own research in crayfish, where we characterize the behavioral and neural consequences resulting from chronic and acute exposure to psychostimulant and addictive drugs. Substituted phenethylamines, like amphetamine and cocaine, exhibit a wide range of effects in crayfish with direct parallels to those described from mammalian preparations. Unconditioned effects include intoxication and psychostimulation, where repeated exposure is accompanied by tolerance and sensitization, respectively. Psychostimulants exhibit powerful reinforcing properties in conditioned place preference, subject to extinction and reinstatement. Crayfish readily self-administer amphetamines using instrumental learning approaches. With a nervous system modular and uniquely accessible to neural probing, crayfish offer unique opportunities for studying the basic biological mechanisms of drug effects, for exploring how the appetitive disposition is implemented, and for examining how this is related to the rewarding action of drugs of abuse.Graphical abstractSystemic infusions into the pericardial cavity (A) or drug delivery in close proximity to the supraesophageal ganglion (B) accessory lobes (enlarged in C) produced various behaviors related to exploration (viz., locomotion, antennal movements, rearing up along the arena sides). Psychostimulants trigger active exploration-like behaviors in crayfish, most likely via neural sites within the head ganglion. The accessory lobes are components of higher brain structures in the crayfish brain and potential neural structures that facilitate the vulnerability of the system to a wide range of mammalian drugs of abuse. It is associated with higher-order decision making in the environment, for instance, choosing a specific tactile or visual stimulus associated with reward.Graphical abstract for this article
  • To free, or not to free: Social reinforcement effects in the social
           release paradigm with rats
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 152Author(s): Lisa C. Hiura, Lavinia Tan, Timothy D. HackenbergAbstractThe present research measured social reinforcement in rats, using a social-release procedure in which lever presses permitted 10-s access to a familiar social partner. The work requirements for reinforcement increased systematically according to progressive-ratio (PR) schedules. Social and food reinforcement value were compared across blocks of sessions (Experiment 1) and concurrently within the same sessions (Experiment 2). To assess motivational effects, response and reinforcer rates for both reinforcer types were studied under food restriction, social restriction, and combined food and social restriction. Responding was maintained by both reinforcers, albeit at substantially higher levels for food than for social access. Responding for social access decreased to low levels under extinction conditions, demonstrating functional control by the social-reinforcement contingency. Sensitivity to social restriction was seen in some conditions in Experiment 2, in which social reinforcers were earned earlier in the session (at lower food prices) under social restriction than under the other deprivation conditions. Altogether, results are consistent with a social reinforcement conceptualization, and demonstrate an important role for social contact in social release behavior. The study demonstrates a promising set of methods for analyzing and quantifying social reinforcement.
  • Implicit relational learning in a multiple-object tracking task
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 152Author(s): Olga F. Lazareva, John McInnerney, Tiffany WilliamsAbstractWe studied implicit relational learning by embedding contextual relational information into a multiple-object tracking task. In two experiments, participants were instructed to track two or four out of eight moving objects and report at the end of the trial whether a single cued object was among those they tracked (yes/no task). The stimulus display also contained two background strips of different width. In the informative condition, the location of the cued object predicted the correct choice: If the answer was "yes", then the cued object was always located next to the narrower strip; otherwise, it was always located next to the wider strip (or vice versa). In the random condition, the location of the object did not predict the correct choice. Participants in the informative condition consistently displayed lower tracking accuracy than in the random condition, possibly due to attentional demands introduced by implicit relational task. At the same time, participants in the informative condition demonstrated no awareness of the task structure; instead, their reports were consistent with the attempts to track moving objects. Our task can provide a suitable model for studying implicit relational learning in adult participants that is essential for establishing generality of factors affecting relational learning.
  • Algorithmic analysis of relational learning processes in instructional
           technology: Some implications for basic, translational, and applied
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 152Author(s): William J. McIlvane, Joanne B. Kledaras, Christophe J. Gerard, Lorin Wilde, David SmelsonAbstractA few noteworthy exceptions notwithstanding, quantitative analyses of relational learning are most often simple descriptive measures of study outcomes. For example, studies of stimulus equivalence have made much progress using measures such as percentage consistent with equivalence relations, discrimination ratio, and response latency. Although procedures may have ad hoc variations, they remain fairly similar across studies. Comparison studies of training variables that lead to different outcomes are few. Yet to be developed are tools designed specifically for dynamic and/or parametric analyses of relational learning processes. This paper will focus on recent studies to develop (1) quality computer-based programmed instruction for supporting relational learning in children with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities and (2) formal algorithms that permit ongoing, dynamic assessment of learner performance and procedure changes to optimize instructional efficacy and efficiency. Because these algorithms have a strong basis in evidence and in theories of stimulus control, they may have utility also for basic and translational research. We present an overview of the research program, details of algorithm features, and summary results that illustrate their possible benefits. It also presents arguments that such algorithm development may encourage parametric research, help in integrating new research findings, and support in-depth quantitative analyses of stimulus control processes in relational learning. Such algorithms may also serve to model control of basic behavioral processes that is important to the design of effective programmed instruction for human learners with and without functional disabilities.
  • Spatial midsession reversal learning in rats: Effects of egocentric Cue
           use and memory
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 152Author(s): Rebecca M. Rayburn-Reeves, Mary K. Moore, Thea E. Smith, Daniel A. Crafton, Kelly L. MardenAbstractThe midsession reversal task has been used to investigate behavioral flexibility and cue use in non-human animals, with results indicating differences in the degree of control by environmental cues across species. For example, time-based control has been found in rats only when tested in a T-maze apparatus and under specific conditions in which position and orientation (i.e., egocentric) cues during the intertrial interval could not be used to aid performance. Other research in an operant setting has shown that rats often produce minimal errors around the reversal location, demonstrating response patterns similar to patterns exhibited by humans and primates in this task. The current study aimed to reduce, but not eliminate, the ability for rats to utilize egocentric cues by placing the response levers on the opposite wall of the chamber in relation to the pellet dispenser. Results showed that rats made minimal errors prior to the reversal, suggesting time-based cues were not controlling responses, and that they switched to the second correct stimulus within a few trials after the reversal event. Video recordings also revealed highly structured patterns of behavior by the majority of rats, which often differed depending on which response was reinforced. We interpret these findings as evidence that rats are adept at utilizing their own egocentric cues and that these cues, along with memory for the recent response-reinforcement contingencies, aid in maximizing reinforcement over the session.
  • Seven myths of memory
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 152Author(s): Nicola S. Clayton, Clive WilkinsAbstractIn this paper we highlight seven myths about memory, which centre around the fact that memories, as we experience them, are not only about the past, they are also prospective. Although episodic memory provides the template for future scenarios, it can be reassessed each time it is recalled, and in part is dependent on the sequence in which events unfold. We explore seven myths about memory, and the relationship between memory and experience. We refer to ‘The Moustachio Quartet’, a series of novels, which highlight themes and ideas relevant to our argument, and ‘The Creatures in the Night’, a picture book of paintings that explore the passage of time. We integrate evidence from science and the arts to explore the subjective nature of memory and mental time travel, arguing that our capacity to juggle multiple perspectives evolved for the act of prospection, as an aid to move time forward to the advantage of our species by imagining future scenarios.
  • SQAB 2017: Quantitative and Comparative Analyses of Behavior
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 152Author(s): Christopher A. Podlesnik, Federico Sanabria
  • Paradoxical choice in rats: Subjective valuation and mechanism of choice
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 152Author(s): Andrés Ojeda, Robin A. Murphy, Alex KacelnikAbstractDecision-makers benefit from information only when they can use it to guide behavior. However, recent experiments found that pigeons and starlings value information that they cannot use. Here we show that this paradox is also present in rats, and explore the underlying decision process. Subjects chose between two options that delivered food probabilistically after a fixed delay. In one option (“info”), outcomes (food/no-food) were signaled immediately after choice, whereas in the alternative (“non-info”) the outcome was uncertain until the delay lapsed. Rats sacrificed up to 20% potential rewards by preferring the info option, but reversed preference when the cost was 60%. This reversal contrasts with the results found with pigeons and starlings and may reflect species’ differences worth of further investigation. Results are consistent with predictions of the Sequential Choice Model (SCM), that proposes that choices are driven by the mechanisms that control action in sequential encounters. As expected from the SCM, latencies to respond in single-option trials predicted preferences in choice trials, and latencies in choice trials were the same or shorter than in single-option trials. We argue that the congruence of results in distant vertebrates probably reflects evolved adaptations to shared fundamental challenges in nature, and that the apparently paradoxical overvaluing of information is not sub-optimal as has been claimed, even though its functional significance is not yet understood.
  • Durability and generalizability of time-based intervention effects on
           impulsive choice in rats
    • Abstract: Publication date: July 2018Source: Behavioural Processes, Volume 152Author(s): Carrie Bailey, Jennifer R. Peterson, Aaron Schnegelsiepen, Sarah L. Stuebing, Kimberly KirkpatrickAbstractImpulsive choice involves choosing a smaller-sooner (SS) reward over a larger-later (LL) reward. Due to the importance of timing processes in impulsive choice, time-based interventions have been developed to decrease impulsive choice. The present set of experiments assessed the durability and generalizability of time-based interventions. Experiment 1 assessed fixed interval (FI) or variable interval (VI) intervention efficacy over 9 months. The FI intervention decreased impulsive choice, and this effect persisted over time, but the VI intervention effects were only apparent when tested immediately after the intervention. Experiment 2 examined the generalizability of the FI and VI interventions on choice tasks manipulating the SS delay, LL delay, or LL magnitude. The FI intervention decreased sensitivity to delay, promoting LL choices in both delay tasks, but the VI intervention only altered choices when manipulating the SS delay. Experiment 3 further examined the FI intervention effects on tasks that manipulated the LL delay or magnitude immediately following the intervention. The intervention decreased sensitivity to both delay and magnitude. The experiments indicate that the FI intervention is effective at decreasing impulsive choice behavior for an extended period across changing delays and magnitudes, suggesting a relatively broad effect on choice behavior.
  • Are there facial indicators of positive emotions in birds' A first
           exploration in Japanese quail
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 June 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Aline Bertin, Fabien Cornilleau, Julie Lemarchand, Alain Boissy, Christine Leterrier, Raymond Nowak, Ludovic Calandreau, Marie-Claire Blache, Xavier Boivin, Cécile Arnould, Léa LansadeAbstractThe positive aspect of emotions, like pleasure, remains overlooked in birds. Our aim was to contribute to the exploration of facial indicators of positive emotions. To observe contrasting emotional expressions, we used two lines of Japanese quail divergently selected on their inherent fearfulness: a fearful line (long tonic immobility duration: LTI) and a less fearful line (short tonic immobility duration: STI). To induce positive emotions, we gave individual quail the opportunity to perform a rewarding behaviour, dustbathing, in an unfamiliar cage. More STI than LTI quail expressed dustbathing and latencies to dustbathe were significantly shorter in STI than LTI quail. This result indicated that the lines of quail differed in their fearfulness of the situation. We observed crown feather height, throat feather angle and pupil surface before (control) and during dustbathing. We found significant increases in crown feather height, pupil area and angle of throat feathers between the control and the dustbathing phases in STI quail, and pupil area correlated positively with crown feather height. In LTI quail, the angle of throat feathers increased during dustbathing, but the other parameters did not differ. We argue that variation in crown feather height and pupil area may provide indications of positive emotions in Japanese quail.
  • Delay discounting associated with challenges to treatment adherence and
           glycemic control in young adults with type 1 diabetes
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 June 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Maria Stoianova, Elizabeth C. Tampke, Amy Hughes Lansing, Catherine StangerAbstractIntroductionMany young adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D) face challenges in adherence to self-management practices and have above-target HbA1c. Poorer decision-making skills, indicated by greater delay discounting, may be linked to these factors.MethodsAn online survey using social media ads targeted young adults aged 18–26 with T1D. Participants completed the Self-Care Inventory and the 5-trial delay discounting task and self-reported their last HbA1c value.ResultsDiscounting was significantly associated with treatment adherence (r = −.14, p 
  • Territorial responses to song components in a suboscine, the vermilion
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 June 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Alejandro A. Ríos-Chelén, Lilian G. Crisanto-Téllez, Esmeralda Quiros-Guerrero, Karla D. Rivera-CaceresAbstractVermilion flycatchers songs are composed of two acoustically different parts: a first part (FP) containing a variable number of introductory elements, and a second part (SP) composed of four elements. Previous work suggests that the FP is important for territorial competition and that it conveys information on threat level. By exposing free-living males to playbacks of complete songs (CS’s), FP’s and SP’s, we evaluated the relative contribution of each song part in males’ territorial responses. Males called in response to all three treatments, suggesting each song component is important for territorial competition. Males’ call response did not differ toward CS’s and FP’s, and toward CS’s and SP’s (although a non-significant tendency was found for SP’s to elicit a weaker response than CS’s), but it was greater toward FP’s than toward SP’s. These results, coupled with previous work, further support the idea that the FP plays a special role during territorial competition and may give information on level of threat. We further discuss our result in terms of mechanistic and functional hypotheses.
  • Shoal sex composition and predation risk influence sub-adult threespine
           stickleback shoaling decisions
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 June 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Taylor L. Rystrom, Vic F. Clement, Ingolf P. Rick, Theo C.M. Bakker, Marion MehlisAbstractGroup living reduces individual predation risk most effectively when group members are behaviorally and phenotypically similar. Group preferences are influenced by the individual, the members of the shoal, and the environmental conditions. While shoaling behavior has been studied extensively in the threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus), it is unclear whether the sex of shoal mates influences the shoal preference of non-reproductive males and females and how this changes under increasing predation risk. Although non-reproductively active sticklebacks are sexually monochromatic in appearance, sex-related differences may result in sexual segregation when shoaling. Here we show that male and female sub-adult threespine sticklebacks had contrasting preferences for shoal mate sex, and that this preference was dependent on the level of predation risk during standardized experimental choice tests. In detail, test fish shoal with the opposite sex within low predation risk trials and with same-sex shoals within high predation risk trials. This difference might be linked to activity patterns; test males were more active than females. Our results demonstrate that differences between the sexes in a species with a sexually monochromatic non-reproductive stage can result in sex-related shoaling preferences. Most studies examining sexual segregation focus on sexually dimorphic species, but these results highlight the potentially widespread occurrence of sexual segregation beyond the sexually dimorphic reproductive stage.
  • The sounds of silence: Barn owl noise in landing and taking off
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 June 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Arjan Boonman, Pazit Zadicario, Yael Mazon, Chen Rabi, David EilamAbstractA barn owl swooping down generated a quieter, almost silent, noise (acoustic impulses) compared to a louder noise generated by the owl when taking off. These acoustic impulses are at low frequencies which are below the auditory threshold to most rodents. Therefore, rodents are less likely to hear these noises of owl flight. A previous study revealed that rodents exhibit frantic response to an owl taking off (as opposed to their typical freezing response during owl attack). The frantic response could be the result of tactile reception of the air-puffs generated by the owl’s wingbeats and may reduce the success in subsequent attacks.
  • Evidence for a shared representation of sequential cues that engage
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 June 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Elizabeth B. Smedley, Kyle S. SmithAbstractSign-tracking is a phenomenon whereby cues that predict rewards come to acquire their own motivational value (incentive salience) and attract appetitive behavior. Typically, sign-tracking paradigms have used single auditory, visual, or lever cues presented prior to a reward delivery. Yet, real world examples of events often can be predicted by a sequence of cues. We have shown that animals will sign-track to multiple cues presented in temporal sequence, and with time develop a bias in responding toward a reward distal cue over a reward proximal cue. Further, extinction of responding to the reward proximal cue directly decreases responding to the reward distal cue. One possible explanation of this result is that serial cues become representationally linked with one another. Here we provide further support of this by showing that extinction of responding to a reward distal cue directly reduces responding to a reward proximal cue. We suggest that the incentive salience of one cue can influence the incentive salience of the other cue.
  • Tiger salamanders’ (Ambystoma tigrinum) response retention and usage of
           visual cues following brumation
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 June 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Shannon M.A. Kundey, Anne Lessard, Aleyna Fitz, Manika PanwarAbstractBrumation enables tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) to survive changes in temperature. However, it is unclear how this affects memory retention. We explored how brumation impacted salamanders’ retention of a learned response to a visual cue through two experiments. We hypothesized salamanders would retain information across this state. However, we also hypothesized that retention could be manipulated through cold temperature exposure timing. We hypothesized that cold temperature exposure immediately after reactivation of a memory would decrease retention of that memory following brumation. Our results indicate that salamanders can respond utilizing visual cues and that performance can be retained across this state. However, our results also indicate that if exposure to cold temperatures occurs directly following a recall experience, memory for the information that was recalled just prior to cold temperature exposure can be disrupted. This suggests that the timing of the recalling of information and the exposure to the cold temperatures inherent to brumation is important to memory retention through this state. Future studies should investigate the impact of the timing of extreme temperature exposure on retention over other torpor states, including hibernation and aestivation. Additionally, the mechanism underlying such impaired retention should be explored.
  • Variable behavior and repeated learning in two mouse strains:
           Developmental and genetic contributions
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 June 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Megan A. Arnold, M. Christopher NewlandAbstractBehavioral inflexibility is often assessed using reversal learning tasks, which require a relatively low degree of response variability. No studies have assessed sensitivity to reinforcement contingencies that specifically select highly variable response patterns in mice, let alone in models of neurodevelopmental disorders involving limited response variation. Operant variability and incremental repeated acquisition (IRA) were used to assess unique aspects of behavioral variability of two mouse strains: BALB/c, a model of some deficits in ASD, and C57Bl/6. On the operant variability task, BALB/c mice responded more repetitively during adolescence than C57Bl/6 mice when reinforcement did not require variability but responded more variably when reinforcement required variability. During IRA testing in adulthood, both strains acquired an unchanging, performance sequence equally well. Strain differences emerged, however, after novel learning sequences began alternating with the performance sequence: BALB/c mice substantially outperformed C57Bl/6 mice. Using litter-mate controls, it was found that adolescent experience with variability did not affect either learning or performance on the IRA task in adulthood. These findings constrain the use of BALB/c mice as a model of ASD, but once again reveal this strain is highly sensitive to reinforcement contingencies and they are fast and robust learners.
  • Temporal modification of social interactions in response to changing group
           demographics and offspring maturation in African lions (Panthera leo)
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 June 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Jacqui Kirk, Claudia A.F. WascherAbstractIn group living animals, affiliative social interactions maintain cohesion between individuals. Involvement in these interactions is likely to differ between individuals, depending on their sex, age and life history stages. Here we investigated different social network measures to describe greeting interactions within two prides of captive-origin African lions (Panthera leo). We aimed to determine if the introduction of cubs to these prides altered the strength of greeting networks among female lions. We also tested if the strength of greeting interactions changed between the age classes as younger lions matured. We found that interactions amongst female lions decreased from the period before cubs were born (least square means [95% CIs] 15.3 [7.67–22.93]) compared to after their integration into a pride (5.63 [−1.99–13.26] χ21 = 210.03, p
  • The effect of parasitism on personality in a social insect
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 June 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Joe Turner, William O.H. HughesAbstractIndividuals are known to differ consistently in various aspects of their behaviour in many animal species, a phenomenon that has come to be referred to as animal personalities. These individual differences are likely to have evolutionary and ecological significance, and it is therefore important to understand the precise nature of how environmental and physiological factors affect animal personalities. One factor which may affect personality is disease, but while the effects of disease on many aspects of host behaviour are well known, the effects on animal personalities have been little studied. Here we show that wood ants, Formica rufa, exhibit consistent individual differences in three personality traits: boldness, sociability and aggressiveness. However, experimental exposure to a virulent fungal parasite, Metarhizium pingshaense, had surprisingly little effect on the personality traits. Parasite-challenged ants showed marginal changes in sociability at high doses of parasite but no change in boldness or aggressiveness even when close to death. There was similarly little effect of other physiological stresses on ant personalities. The results suggest that individual personality in ants can be remarkably resilient to physiological stress, such as that caused by parasite infection. Future studies are needed to determine whether there is a similar resilience in solitary animals, as well as in other social species.
  • Working memory in children assessed with serial chaining and Simon tasks
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 June 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Audrey E. Parrish, Bonnie M. Perdue, Andrew J. Kelly, Michael J. BeranAbstractIn the serial chaining task, participants are required to produce a sequence of responses to stimuli in the correct order, and sometimes must determine the sequence at trial outset if stimuli are masked after the first response is made. Similarly, the Simon memory span task presents a participant with a sequence of colors, and the participant must recreate the sequence after the full series is shown. In efforts to directly link the comparative literature on sequential planning behavior and working memory span with the developmental literature, we presented preschool children with the serial chaining task using masked Arabic numerals (N = 44) and the Simon memory span task (N = 65). Older children outperformed younger children in each task, sequencing a longer string of numbers in the serial chaining task and remembering a greater number of items in the Simon task. Controlling for the role of age, there was a significant positive relationship between task scores. These results highlight the emergence of working memory skills that might underlie planning capacities in children using a task developed for nonhuman animals, and the results indicate that improvement in general executive functions could be measured using either or both of these tasks among human children and nonhuman species.
  • What is driving range expansion in a common bat' Hints from
           thermoregulation and habitat selection
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 June 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Leonardo Ancillotto, Ivana Budinski, Valentina Nardone, Ivy Di Salvo, Martina Della Corte, Luciano Bosso, Paola Conti, Danilo RussoAbstractHuman-induced alterations of ecosystems and environmental conditions often lead to changes in the geographical range of plants and animals. While modelling exercises may contribute to understanding such dynamics at large spatial scales, they rarely offer insights into the mechanisms that prompt the process at a local scale. Savi’s pipistrelle (Hypsugo savii) is a vespertilionid bat widespread throughout the Mediterranean region. The species’ recent range expansion towards northeastern Europe is thought to be induced by urbanization, yet no study actually tested this hypothesis, and climate change is a potential alternative driver. In this radio-telemetry study, set in the Vesuvius National Park (Campania region, Southern Italy) we provide insights into the species’ thermal physiology and foraging ecology and investigate their relationships with potential large-scale responses to climate, and land use changes. Specifically, we test whether H. savii i) exploits urbanisation by selecting urban areas for roosting and foraging, and ii) tolerates heatwaves (a proxy for thermophily) through a plastic use of thermoregulation. Tolerance to heatwaves would be consistent with the observation that the species’ geographic range is not shifting but expanding northwards. Tracked bats roosted mainly in buildings but avoided urban habitats while foraging, actively selecting non-intensive farmland and natural wooded areas. Hypsugo H. savii showed tolerance to heat, reaching the highest body temperature ever recorded for a free-ranging bat (46.5 °C), and performing long periods of overheating. We conclude that H. savii is not a strictly synurbic species because it exploits urban areas mainly for roosting, and avoids them for foraging: this questions the role of synurbization as a range expansion driver. On the other hand, the species’ extreme heat tolerance and plastic thermoregulatory behaviour represent winning traits to cope with heatwaves typical of climate change-related weather fluctuations.
  • Pavlovian Conditioning of Social Exploration in Adult Female Rats
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 June 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Ceyhun SunsayAbstractSocial conditionaed place preference (SCPP) studies show that the reward value of social interaction is amenable to the laws of associative learning, such that it becomes associated with the physical properties of the context. However, social interaction can be initiated and maintained by a variety of motivations, such as the exploration of a novel conspecific, aggression, mutual grooming and mating-like actions. In order to study whether social exploration is rewarding, we used a conventional Pavlovian conditioning procedure in which access to a restrained same-sex rat served as a reward. Three dependent variables in two experiments showed that the reward value of social exploration becomes conditioned to a transient cue, and it is also subject to extinction and spontaneous recovery. The results may help to elucidate the mixed results obtained with SCPP procedures.
  • Pathways to cognitive design
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 May 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Annie E. Wertz, Cristina MoyaAbstractDespite a shared recognition that the design of the human mind and the design of human culture are tightly linked, researchers in the evolutionary social sciences tend to specialize in understanding one at the expense of the other. The disciplinary boundaries roughly correspond to research traditions that focus more on natural selection and those that focus more on cultural evolution. In this paper, we articulate how two research traditions within the evolutionary social sciences—evolutionary psychology and cultural evolution—approach the study of design. We focus our analysis on the design of cognitive mechanisms that are the result of the interplay of genetic and cultural evolution. We aim to show how the approaches of these two research traditions can complement each other, and provide a framework for developing a wider range of testable hypotheses about cognitive design. To do so, we provide concrete illustrations of how this integrated approach can be used to interrogate cognitive design using examples from our own work on plant and symbolic group boundary cognition. We hope this recognition of different pathways to design will broaden the hypothesis space in the evolutionary social sciences and encourage methodological pluralism in the investigation of the mind.
  • Selected emergence in the evolution of behavior and cognition
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 May 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): H. Clark BarrettAbstractIn the evolution of cognition and behavior, a recurrent question concerns the degree to which any given aspect of the phenotype has been “selected for” or “specified,” as opposed to arising as a byproduct of some other process. In some sense this is the key question for evolutionary theories of development that seek to connect ultimate evolutionary accounts to proximate developmental accounts of ontogeny. A popular solution to the specification problem is to invoke “emergence,” in which phenotypes are co-constructed by many causes and cannot be reduced to any one of them. However, the concept of emergence, while appealing, can obscure sources of ultimate causation by leaving them unspecified. Here I explore the idea of selected emergence, in which phenotypic outcomes do emerge from a confluence of factors, some haphazard, but which include in part a history of selection, genetic and / or cultural, to produce phenotypic outcomes of that type. I discuss potential case studies of selected emergence, explore its empirical implications and provide suggestions for future research on the evolution of emergent outcomes.
  • An evolutionary approach to complex hierarchical societies
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 May 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Theodore KoditschekAbstractEvolutionary anthropologists have been remarkably successful in developing ‘dual inheritance’ theories of gene/culture coevolution that analyze the interaction of each of these factors without reducing either one to the other’s terms. However, efforts to extend this type of analysis to encompass complex, class-divided hierarchical societies, grounded in formal laws, political institutions, and trajectories of sustained economic development have scarcely begun. This article proposes a provisional framework for advancing such a multi-level co-evolutionary analysis that can encompass multiple forms of social organization from simple hunting/foraging groups to agrarian states and empires, up through the global capitalist system of our own day. The article formulates tools to conceptualize some of the ways in which ‘selection’ and ‘adaptation’ operate at every level to bring genes, cultures, states, and market exchange into provisional alignment with one another. It considers some of the ways in which modes of production’, ‘modes of coercion’ and ‘modes of persuasion’ interact complexly, at different societal levels.
  • Reducing impulsive choice: V. The role of timing in delay-exposure
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 April 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Jillian M. Rung, Catalin V. Buhusi, Gregory J. MaddenAbstractImpulsive decision-making is common in addiction-related disorders, with some research suggesting it plays a causal role in their development. Therefore, reducing impulsive decision-making may prevent or reduce addiction-related behaviors. Recent research shows that prolonged experience with response-contingent delayed reward (delay exposure [DE] training) reduces impulsive choice in rats, but it is unclear what behavioral mechanisms underlie this effect. The present study evaluated whether improvements in interval timing mediate the effects of DE training on impulsive choice. Thirty-nine Long-Evans rats were randomly assigned to groups completing DE, immediacy-, or no-exposure training, followed by impulsive-choice and timing tasks (temporal bisection). Despite replicating the DE effect on impulsive choice, timing accuracy and precision were unaffected by DE training and unrelated to impulsive choice. The present findings did not replicate previous reports that timing precision and impulsive choice are related, which may be due to between-laboratory differences in impulsive choice tasks. Continued research to identify candidate behavioral mechanisms of DE training may assist in improving training efficacy and facilitating translational efforts.
  • Effects of sucrose concentration on choice in an adjusting-magnitude
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 25 April 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): C.M. BradshawAbstractRats were trained under a discrete-trials adjusting-magnitude schedule in which a response on lever A delivered either a larger or a smaller sucrose reinforcer (qA1 = 8 μl, qA2 = 64 μl) with equal probability, while a response on B delivered a reinforcer whose size qB was adjusted according to the rats’ choices. When A was preferred in a given block of trials, qB was increased in the following block; when B was preferred, qB was reduced in the following block. The oscillating changes in qB, analysed by the Fourier transform, could be described by a power spectrum whose dominant frequency corresponded to a period of 40–50 trial blocks. The equilibrium value of qB (qB(50)) was inversely related to sucrose concentration; it significantly exceeded the arithmetic mean of qA1 and qA2 when the concentration was 0.2 or 0.4 M, but not when it was 0.8 or 1.6 M. Analysis by mixed-effects modelling revealed a trend for the power of oscillation of qB to increase monotonically with sucrose concentration; the period of oscillation was not systematically related to sucrose concentration. These results are consistent with predictions derived from a revised version of the multiplicative hyperbolic model of intertemporal choice.
  • Back to basics: A methodological perspective on marble-burying behavior as
           a screening test for psychiatric illness
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 April 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Geoffrey de Brouwer, De Wet WolmaransAbstractAnimal models of human psychiatric illness are valuable frameworks to investigate the etiology and neurobiology underlying the human conditions. Accurate behavioral measures that can be used to characterize animal behavior, thereby contributing to a model’s validity, are crucial. One such measure, i.e. the rodent marble-burying test (MBT), is often applied as a measure of anxiety- and compulsive-like behaviors. However, the test is characterized by noteworthy between-laboratory methodological differences and demonstrates positive treatment responses to an array of pharmacotherapies that are often of little translational value. Therefore, using a naturalistic animal model of obsessive-compulsive disorder, i.e. the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii), the current investigation attempted to illuminate the discrepancies reported in literature by means of a methodological approach to the MBT. Five key aspects of the test that vary between laboratories, viz. observer/scoring, burying substrate, optional avoidance, the use of repeated testing, and determinations of locomotor activity, have been investigated. Following repeated MB tests in four different burying substrates and in two zone configurations, we have demonstrated that 1) observer bias may contribute to the significant differences in findings reported, 2) MB seems to be a natural exploratory response to a novel environment, rather than being triggered by aberrant cognition, 3) burying substrates with a small particle size and higher density deliver the most accurate results with respect to the burying phenotype, and 4) to exclude the influence of normal exploratory behavior on the number of marbles being covered, assessments of marble-burying should be based on pre-occupation with the objects itself.
  • Increase in scout trips due to forager removal in Atta sexdens
           (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) (Forel, 1908)
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 April 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Mariana Silva Brugger, Roberto da Silva Camargo, Luiz Carlos Forti, Juliane Floriano Santos LopesAbstractSocial information exchange through physical contacts and chemical trail deposition forms the basis of food recruitment in leaf-cutting ants. The scout initiates the process and passes the information to nestmates that recruit more foragers, thus amplifying the stimulus and ensuring the success of foraging. An interruption of the contact between workers and a reduction in trail laying can diminish the effectiveness of mass recruitment and alter scouting activity and forager flow. This study verified an increase in scout trips as a consequence of inbound workers (with or without a plant load) removal during Atta sexdens foraging, sustaining the outbound flow of foragers, and consequently foraging activity, either through direct contact or chemical trail deposition. Data indicate as one of the roles of unladen workers along the foraging trail must be to stimulate other workers to go out and so speed up the recruitment process The remarkable ability to organize themselves without central control is a major strength of social insects and the increase in scouting activity observed here is an example of this behavioral flexibility in leaf-cutting ants. Although foraging performance is enhanced through communication between workers, the simple adjustment in scouting activity can maintain the outbound flow of foragers which is an essential activity of the colony.
  • Rats’ preferences in the suboptimal choice procedure: Evaluating the
           impact of reinforcement probability and conditioned inhibitors
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 April 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Rodrigo Alba, William Rodríguez, Montserrat Martínez, Vladimir OrduñaAbstractPrevious research has shown that pigeons and other birds display a strong and consistent preference for an alternative of reinforcement that presents stimuli that allow to discriminate whether a reinforcer will be delivered or not, even when its probability of reinforcement is lower than that of another alternative without those stimuli. In contrast, most of the studies performed with rats report that they show the opposite preference, choosing the alternative with higher probability of reinforcement. To explain these opposite preferences, it has been proposed that rats and pigeons have a differential sensitivity to the conditioned inhibition that emerges from the stimulus that predicts non-reinforcement: While it does not have an impact in pigeons, it strongly influences rats´ preferences. Alternatively, it was recently proposed that there is not a fundamental difference in the behavior of rats and pigeons, but that the procedure employed to evaluate each of these species has generated the difference; in particular, it was proposed that both species prefer the discriminative alternative when the discriminative stimuli have incentive salience. Two recent studies provide support for each of these hypotheses, so that the available evidence does not allow to distinguish between them. In the present report, we present three studies that systematically explore the influence of the procedural differences between the studies with discrepant results. The obtained results provide support for the following ideas: a) there is a fundamental difference between pigeons and rats in their choice behavior in the “suboptimal choice procedure”, b) considering the incentive salience of the discriminative stimuli does not resolve it, and c) rats’ optimality is a consistent phenomenon, which resists manipulations in reinforcement probabilities and the absence of conditioned inhibitors in the discriminative alternative.
  • An investigation of the probability of reciprocation in a risk-reduction
           model of sharing
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 April 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Stephanie Jimenez, Cynthia PietrasAbstractA laboratory study investigated whether reductions in the probability of reciprocation would influence sharing in situations of shortfall risk. Choice in twelve adults was evaluated against the predictions of a risk-reduction model of sharing derived from a risk-sensitive foraging theory (the energy-budget rule). Participants responded on a computer task to earn hypothetical money which could be later exchanged for real money. If participants selected the sharing option, their earnings were pooled and split with a (fictitious) partner. To model shortfall risk, the task was arranged so that participants lost their accumulated earnings if it fell below an earnings requirement. Across conditions the probability that the partner would contribute to the pool was .95, .65, and 0. Choosing the sharing option was optimal under the .95 and .65, but not 0 condition. Although levels of preference for the sharing option were below optimal, participants chose it significantly more in the .95 and .65 conditions than in the 0 condition. Sharing was lower in the .65 condition than .95 condition but the difference was not statically significant. The results are consistent with prior cooperation research and demonstrate that under shortfall risk, reductions in the probability of reciprocation by partners may decrease sharing.
  • Single aggressive and non-aggressive social interactions elicit distinct
           behavioral patterns to the context in mice
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 April 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Ariela M. Crestani, Ana C. Cipriano, Ricardo L. Nunes-de-SouzaAggressive interactions between conspecific animals have been used as a social stressor with ethological characteristics to study how social interactions can modulate animal’s behavior. Here, a new protocol based on aggressive and non-aggressive interactions was developed to study how different social interactions can alter the behavioral profile of animals re-exposed to the context in which the interaction occurred. We used factor analysis to trace the behavioral profile of socially defeated and non-defeated mice when they were re-exposed to the apparatus [three interconnected chambers: home chamber, tunnel and surface area]; we also compared the behavior presented before (habituation) and 24 h after (re-exposure) the non-aggressive or aggressive interactions. A final factor analysis from defeated animals yielded 4 factors that represented 72.09% of total variance; whereas non-defeated animal’s analysis was loaded with 5 factors that represented 85.46% of total variance. A 5-min non-aggressive interaction reduced the frequency of stretched attend behavior in the tunnel, whereas a single social defeat reduced time in the tunnel and increased time spent performing self-grooming in the home chamber without conditioning any other spatio-temporal and complementary measures. Together, these results suggest that different social interactions may modulate distinct behavioral profiles in animals when re-exposed to the context.Graphical abstractGraphical abstract for this article
  • Captive chimpanzees’ manual laterality in tool use context: Influence of
           communication and of sociodemographic factors
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 April 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Jacques Prieur, Simone Pika, Catherine Blois-Heulin, Stéphanie BarbuAbstractUnderstanding variations of apes’ laterality between activities is a central issue when investigating the evolutionary origins of human hemispheric specialization of manual functions and language. We assessed laterality of 39 chimpanzees in a non-communication action similar to termite fishing that we compared with data on five frequent conspecific-directed gestures involving a tool previously exploited in the same subjects. We evaluated, first, population-level manual laterality for tool-use in non-communication actions; second, the influence of sociodemographic factors (age, sex, group, and hierarchy) on manual laterality in both non-communication actions and gestures. No significant right-hand bias at the population level was found for non-communication tool use, contrary to our previous findings for gestures involving a tool. A multifactorial analysis revealed that hierarchy and age particularly modulated manual laterality. Dominants and immatures were more right-handed when using a tool in gestures than in non-communication actions. On the contrary, subordinates, adolescents, young and mature adults as well as males were more right-handed when using a tool in non-communication actions than in gestures. Our findings support the hypothesis that some primate species may have a specific left-hemisphere processing gestures distinct from the cerebral system processing non-communication manual actions and to partly support the tool use hypothesis.
  • The influence of exercise on anxiety-like behavior in zebrafish (Danio
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 April 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): C. DePasquale, J. LeriAbstractIn non-human mammals, exercise has been shown to decrease anxiety-like behavior. Conversely, a number of studies have reported no effect or even an increase in anxiety-like behavior after exercise, however, inconsistent training regimes and behavioral paradigms across studies may be confounding the results. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are a well-established animal model in neurobehavioral research, and have the potential to shed new insight into the effects of exercise on anxiety-like behavior where previous research has been limited, due to the ability to precisely control intensity and duration of exercise, and the validation of tests for measuring different aspects of anxiety-like behaviors. In the current study, fish were split between two treatment groups; Exercised and Control. Fish in the exercised condition were aerobically challenged (max water velocity: 0.5 m/s) using a swim tunnel one hour a day, five days a week, for six weeks. Control fish spent an equal amount of time in the swim tunnel but were not aerobically challenged (max water velocity: 0.05 m/s). After six weeks, all fish were tested individually in two standard complimentary anxiety tests for zebrafish: the novel tank test and the light-dark test. Exercised fish exhibited reduced anxiety-like behaviors in the novel tank test; they spent more time in the top and were quicker to enter the top of a novel tank compared to Control fish. In addition, Exercised fish spent more time in the light compartment of the light-dark test compared to Control fish. Our results demonstrate the beneficial effect of exercise on anxiety-like behavior in zebrafish.
  • The role of singing style in song adjustments to fluctuating sound
           conditions: A comparative study on Mexican birds
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 April 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Eira Bermúdez-Cuamatzin, Maricela López-Hernández, James Campbell, Iriana Zuria, Hans SlabbekoornAbstractMany bird species adjust their songs to noisy urban conditions by which they reduce masking and counteract the detrimental impact on signal efficiency. Different species vary in their response to level fluctuations of ambient noise, but it remains unclear why they vary. Here, we investigated whether noise-dependent flexibility may relate to singing style and signal function of the flexible acoustic trait. Species with highly variable songs may generally be more flexible and strongly repetitive singers may be more limited to stray from their stringent patterns. We exposed males of four passerine species with contrasting singing styles (repertoire size, immediate or eventual variety singing and syllable diversity) to three experimental sound conditions: 1) continuous urban noise; 2) intermittent white noise and 3) conspecific song playback. We found no spectral or temporal changes in response to experimental noise exposure in any of the four species, but significant temporal adjustment to conspecific playback in one of them. We argue that the consistency in song frequency and timing may have signal value, independent of singing style, and therefore be an explanation for the general lack of noise-dependent flexibility in the four species of the current study.
  • Serial reversal learning and cognitive flexibility in two species of
           Neotropical parrots (Diopsittaca nobilis and Pionites melanocephala)
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 April 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Jayden O. van Horik, Nathan J. EmeryAbstractSerial reversal learning of colour discriminations was assessed as an index of cognitive flexibility in two captive species of Neotropical parrots. Both species showed similar performances across serial reversals and no between species differences were observed. In a second task subjects’ performances were assessed after they experienced either a low or high pre-reversal learning criterion. If reversal performances improve through processes of associative learning, a high pre-reversal criterion is expected to strengthen previously learned associations and hence impede post-reversal performances. Conversely, highly reinforced associations may facilitate the use of conditional rules that can be generalised across reversals and improve post-reversal performances. We found that high criterion subjects made fewer post-reversal errors and required fewer trials to reach criterion, than low criterion subjects. Red-shouldered macaws and black-headed caiques may therefore demonstrate capacities for solving serial reversal problems by applying conditional rules, rather than learning solely by associative processes. Such performances coincide with findings in great apes, but contrast with findings in monkeys and prosimians, which generally show impaired reversal performances when trained to a highly rigorous pre-reversal criterion. Overall, these findings suggest an evolutionary convergence of cognitive flexibility between parrots and non-human great apes.
  • A protocol of human animal interaction to habituate young sheep and goats
           for behavioural studies
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 April 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): P.G. González-Pech, C.G. Marín-Tun, D.A. Valladares-González, J. Ventura-Cordero, G.I. Ortiz-Ocampo, R. Cámara-Sarmiento, C.A. Sandoval-Castro, J.F.J. Torres-AcostaAbstractAnimal habituation is key to obtain reliable data on behavioural studies but detailed procedures to achieve it are scarce. This study designed a set of actions to habituate sheep and goats to human observers. Pelibuey sheep (n = 15) and Criollo goats (n = 10) were classified as (a) avoider, flight from human interaction, or (b) follower, seek human interaction. Habituation was measured by the reduction of flight distance by avoiders, or number of followers in the presence of observers. The habituation protocol consisted of a gradually increased series of five manoeuvres, either challenge (for avoiders) or evasion (for seekers), performed first inside a pen and subsequently in a grass paddock. Habituation was considered successful when animals could be observed from a 1-m distance without flight or following the observer. In the pen, habituation took 12 and 13 days for sheep and goats, respectively. Meanwhile, in the grass paddock habituation took 10 days, for both species. The number of challenge and evasion series was negatively correlated with the flight distance in sheep and with the number of followers in goats. This protocol is simple and practical to implement and enables animal habituation for behavioural studies.
  • Sleep deprivation impairs cognitive performance in zebrafish: A matter of
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 April 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Jaquelinne Pinheiro-da-Silva, Steven Tran, Ana Carolina LuchiariAbstractThe zebrafish (Danio rerio) has become a valuable model organism for behavioral studies examining learning and memory. Its diurnal circadian rhythm and characterized sleep-like state make it comparable to mammals, features that have contributed to establishing this small vertebrate as a translational model for sleep research. Despite sleep being an evolutionarily conserved behavior, its mechanisms and functions are still debated. Sleep deprivation is commonly associated with decreased attention, reduced responsiveness to external stimuli, altered locomotor activity and impaired performance on cognitive tasks. In the current study, we examined the effects of partial and total sleep deprivation on zebrafish learning performance in an active avoidance conditioning paradigm. In addition, we examined the effects of two drugs known to alter sleep (alcohol and melatonin) on learning performance in sleep deprived animals. Our results suggest that although partial sleep deprivation did not alter learning performance, total sleep deprivation was found to significantly impair behavioral responses to the electric shock as well as avoidance learning. However, when sleep deprived fish were treated with alcohol the night before the learning task, learning performance was similar to the control group. In contrast, melatonin treatment did not alter learning performance in sleep deprived animals. We conclude that the zebrafish is a sensitive tool for investigating the effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive performance and may be a useful model for dissecting the mechanisms underlying learning and memory.
  • Fight or flight' Effects of vaginal oestrus on cortisol, testosterone,
           and behaviour in guinea pig female-female interaction
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 April 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Lisa M. Glenk, Ivo H. Machatschke, Bernard WallnerAbstractIt is accepted that social stress in relation to confrontation and competition can elicit behavioural and hormonal changes in social mammals. These effects have, however, been less frequently studied among female-female interactions. In the present study female-female confrontation experiments were carried out to monitor socio-positive and agonistic behaviour by controlling for the oestrus cycles of 12 individuals. Additionally, plasma cortisol (CORT) and testosterone (T) levels were determined before and after the experiments.During non-oestrus conditions a significant increase in CORT levels from pre- to post confrontation was registered and females spent more time to sit side by side. During vaginal oestrus the confrontation experiments revealed avoiding of a conspecific female by showing increased flight behaviour. However, during that period no changes in CORT levels were found. But, a non-significant increase in T was measured from pre- to post confrontation in both cycle phases, while no differences in the display of aggressive behaviours were found. These findings indicate considerable influences of different oestrus cycle phases on social stress-induced CORT secretion and the modulation of socio-positive and agonistic behaviour in female guinea pigs.
  • Oestrous phase cyclicity influences judgment biasing in rats
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 April 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Timothy Hugh Barker, Karen Lee Kind, Peta Danielle Groves, Gordon Stanley Howarth, Alexandra Louise WhittakerAbstractThe identification of cognitive bias has become an important measure of animal welfare. Negative cognitive biases develop from a tendency for animals to process novel information pessimistically. Judgment-bias testing is the commonplace methodology to detect cognitive biases. However, concerns with these methods have been frequently-reported; one of which being the discrepancy between male and female cognitive expression. The current study assessed the factors of social status and oestrus, to investigate whether oestrous cycle rotation, or subordination stress encouraged an increase in pessimistic responses. Female Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 24) were trained on an active-choice judgment bias paradigm. Responses to the ambiguous probe were recorded as optimistic or pessimistic. Oestrous phase was determined by assessing vaginal cytology in stained vaginal cell smears. Rats in the dioestrous phase and those rats considered to be subordinate demonstrated an increased percentage of pessimistic responses. However, no interaction between these factors was observed. This suggests that oestrous cyclicity can influence the judgment biases of female animals; a previously unreported finding. On this basis, researchers should be encouraged to account for both oestrous phase cyclicity and social status as an additional fixed effect in study design.
  • An examination of group size and valence in delay discounting of shared
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 April 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Jennifer M. Loya, Michelle Ramirez Roth, Richard YiAbstractPrevious research has examined delay discounting in a group context, where the outcomes are shared with others. These studies indicate shallow delay discounting in a group context compared to an individual context. The present set of studies aimed to explore the impact of two factors, group size (the number of others in the group) and group valence (liked or disliked others in the group), that may affect delay discounting in a group context. Results of the two studies replicated previous results, where shallow delay discounting was observed in the group context compared to the individual context. While Study 1 indicated no effects of group size nor of valence, Study 2 indicated shallow delay discounting for a larger group compared to a smaller group and for liked others compared to disliked others. These results contribute the nascent literature on delay discounting in group contexts.
  • Zoon politikon: The evolutionary origins of human socio-political systems
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 March 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Herbert Gintis, Carel van Schaik, Christopher BoehmAbstractWe deploy the most up-to-date evidence available in various behavioral fields in support of the following hypothesis: The emergence of bipedalism and cooperative breeding in the hominin line, together with environmental developments that made a diet of meat from large animals adaptive, as well as cultural innovations in the form of fire, cooking, and lethal weapons, created a niche for hominins in which there was a significant advantage to individuals with the ability to communicate and persuade in a moral context. These forces added a unique political dimension to human social life which, through gene-culture coevolution, became Homo ludens—Man, the game player—with the power to conserve and transform the social order. Homo sapiens became, in the words of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, a zoon politikon.
  • Stress-induced flexibility and individuality in female and male zebra
           finch distance calls
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 March 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): H.A. Soula, D. Carnino, M.S.A. Fernandez, E.C. Perez, A.S. Villain, C. VignalAbstractVocal recognition is central to the coordination and organization of behavior in pair-bonding species such as zebra finches. Zebra finches’ vocalizations are individualized and support acoustic discrimination processes. Physiological states - such as the ones involved in emotional stress - can modify vocal production and consequently the structure of vocalizations. These modifications might signal the state of the caller but also impair individual recognition processes. This may represent a signaling trade-off, especially in contexts where both pieces of information can be critically important, for example when mates use calls to reunite after social isolation. Here we study the impact of a stress on the individual vocal signature in both female and male zebra finch distance calls.We built a manually curated database of distance calls of several individuals (both females and males) recorded in control and stress conditions. The stress was induced either by social isolation of the bird or using exogenous corticosterone. We developed a machine learning approach to assess the impact of stress on the individual characterization of calls.We show that while calls’ spectral structure is significantly modified by stress, it still allows for the correct classification of calls to the caller. Moreover, we also show that the stress-induced modification of calls’ structure is not a 'general feature signal' that can be detected as a 'stress' signal regardless of identity. Thus, female and male zebra finch calls’ structure show stress-induced flexibility that stays within the range of individual vocal signatures.
  • Are both notes of the common cuckoo’s call necessary for familiarity
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 March 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Csaba Moskát, Márk E. Hauber, Miklós Bán, Attila Fülöp, Nikoletta Geltsch, Attila Marton, Zoltán ElekAbstractCommon cuckoos (Cuculus canorus) are best known for their simple two-note calls (“cu-coo”), which are uttered only by males during the breeding season. A previous playback study revealed that territorial males were more tolerant toward playbacks of the calls of familiar, neighbouring individuals than toward unfamiliar, stranger simulated intruders, exhibiting the classical “dear-enemy” phenomenon. Here we experimentally assessed whether the acoustic cues for familiarity recognition are encoded in the first and/or second note of these simple calls. To do so, we played mixed sound files to radio-tagged cuckoos, where the first part of the two-note calls was taken from strangers and the second part from neighbours, or vice versa. As controls, we used behavioural data from two-note neighbour and two-note stranger call playbacks. Cuckoos responded consistently to the two types of mixed sound files. When either the first or second note of the call was taken from a stranger and the other note from a neighbour, they responded to these sound files similarly to two-note playbacks of strangers: they approached the speaker of the playbacks more closely and the calling response-latency to playbacks was longer than to familiar controls. These findings point to the importance of both notes in familiarity recognition. We conclude that familiarity recognition in male common cuckoos needs the complete structure of the two-note cuckoo call, which is characteristic for this species.
  • Social behaviour of domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) in a public
           off-leash dog park
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 March 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Melissa S. Howse, Rita E. Anderson, Carolyn J. WalshAbstractThis study examines the activity budgets and social behaviours initiated and received by 69 focal dogs in an off-leash dog park for 400 s after entry, a time of high activity about which little is known. Using motivationally-neutral labels for social behaviour categories, we describe the frequency of behaviours, and correlations among them. We then examine these relationships in the context of proposed functions for some behaviours in dogs, in terms of information gathering and communication, including visual and tactile signalling. Time spent with other dogs decreased rapidly over the visit, and much of this early interaction involved greeting the park newcomer. Snout-muzzle contact behaviours were ubiquitous, while other behaviours were rarely observed, including aggressive behaviours. Correlations among certain non-contact behaviours initiated and received by focal dogs are consistent with their function as visual signals that may influence the continuation and form of social interactions, and their possible role in social mimicry (i.e., play bow and pull-rear away). Age, sex, and number of dogs present in the park influenced specific aspects of dogs’ activity budgets, and a few behaviours. This ethological study provides fundamental data on dog social behaviour in dog parks, about which surprisingly little has been published.
  • ecco:+An+error+correcting+comparator+theory&rft.title=Behavioural+Processes&rft.issn=0376-6357&">ecco: An error correcting comparator
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 March 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Stefano GhirlandaAbstractBuilding on the work of Ralph Miller and coworkers (Miller and Matzel, 1988, Denniston et al., 2001, Stout and Miller, 2007), I propose a new formalization of the comparator hypothesis that seeks to overcome some shortcomings of existing formalizations. The new model, dubbed ecco for “Error-Correcting COmparisons,” retains the comparator process and the learning of CS–CS associations based on contingency. ecco assumes, however, that learning of CS–US associations is driven by total error correction, as first introduced by Rescorla and Wagner (1972). I explore ecco's behavior in acquisition, compound conditioning, blocking, backward blocking, and unovershadowing. In these paradigms, ecco appears capable of avoiding the problems of current comparator models, such as the inability to solve some discriminations and some paradoxical effects of stimulus salience. At the same time, ecco exhibits the retrospective revaluation phenomena that are characteristic of comparator theory.
  • Complementary landmarks facilitate ant navigation
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 March 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Edmund R. Hunt, Christopher Kendall, Emma Stanbury, Ana B. Sendova-Franks, Nigel R. FranksAbstractVisual landmarks are important navigational aids to many animals, and when more than one is available their juxtaposition can convey valuable new information to a navigator about progress toward a goal, depending on the landmarks’ comparative distinctiveness. We investigated the effect of presenting rock ant colonies (Temnothorax albipennis) with identical horizontal landmarks either side of their route, versus one horizontal landmark paired with a sloping landmark, as they navigated to a new nest site. Our findings suggest that ants can obtain more navigational information from a combination of dissimilar landmarks: the average tortuosity of the route taken between old and new nests was significantly lower when a horizontal landmark was paired with a monotonically downward sloping landmark (the paths were more direct). The impact on available navigational information from the similarity or dissimilarity of nearby landmarks is likely made through more distinctive visual panoramas, and could be an influential factor in individual and collective animal decision-making about which routes are followed. Furthermore, the effect of landmark complementarity may be relevant to a wide range of species, including other insects or birds, and highlights the possibility that there is an intrinsic difference in the informational content of natural vs. artificial environments.
  • Effects of Extinction of a Nontarget CS on Performance to a Target CS
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 27 February 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Rachel A. Richardson, Paige N. Michener, Todd R. SchachtmanAbstractWhen a target conditioned stimulus (CS A) is paired with an unconditioned stimulus in the presence of a second, conditioned stimulus (CS B) during compound conditioning trials, the associative strength of CS B can influence the magnitude of the conditioned response (CR) to CS A. For example, extinction of the competing, nontarget CS B can influence the CR to CS A. An enhancement of the CR to the target CS A due to extinction of the nontarget CS B after compound conditioning is sometimes referred to as “recovery from overshadowing” – a type of retrospective revaluation. The present experiments examined retrospective revaluation effects using a conditioned taste aversion procedure. The experiments obtained an effect on the CR to CS A following extinction of CS B. The results are discussed with respect to the comparator hypothesis, within-compound associations, and retrieval as well as other relationships between the target CS and nontarget CS.
  • Song ontogeny in Nuttall’s white-crowned sparrows tutored with
           individual phrases
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 February 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Jill A. SohaAbstractBehavioral ontogeny involves the interaction of innate predispositions and experience. In bird song learning, one approach to exploring this interaction is to examine the songs rehearsed by young birds whose exposure to tutor models has been carefully controlled. Here, I analyzed the rehearsed repertoire in Nuttall’s white-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys nuttalli) tutored with individual phrases of conspecific and heterospecific songs. The proportions of phrase types rehearsed indicate that the learning biases evident in crystallized song are manifest early on, suggesting preferential memorization rather than preferential retention during attrition. The proportion of songs beginning with whistles increased during song rehearsal and phrase sequence variability decreased, consistent with the idea that innate syntax specifications guide song rehearsal. Single-phrase tutored birds overproduced phrases to the same extent previously observed in birds tutored with full, normal song but retained fewer phrase types in their crystallized repertoires. This suggests that in this subspecies, acquired syntax information does not affect the number of phrase types memorized and rehearsed but does affect repertoire attrition at the end of the sensorimotor phase. I discuss these results with a focus on the action of innate templates in song development and subspecies differences in this process.
  • The roles of the analogy with natural selection in B.F. Skinner’s
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 February 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Terry L. SmithAbstractBeginning in the 1950s, B.F. Skinner made increasing reference to an analogy between operant conditioning and natural selection. This analogy is the basis of an argument that, in contrast to Skinner’s other critiques of cognitive science, is neither epistemological nor pragmatic. Instead, it is based on the claim that ontogenetic adaptation is due to a special mode of causation he called “selection by consequences.” He argued that this mode of causation conflicts with explanations that attribute action to an autonomous agent with reasons for acting. This argument dismisses ordinary explanations of action, and has implications not only for cognitive science but also for morals. Skinner cited the latter implications to counter objections to the application of behavior analysis to the reform of society and its institutions.Skinner’s critique, however, rests upon empirical assumptions that have been criticized by other behavior analysts. Although for Skinner the major role of the analogy was to propose an empirical thesis, it also can play a metaphysical role—namely, to demonstrate the possibility of ontogenetic adaptation without reference to agents who have reasons for acting. These two roles, empirical and metaphysical, are the mirror image of the empirical and metaphysical roles of the computer analogy for cognitive science. That analogy also can be (and has been) interpreted as an empirical thesis. Its empirical implications, however, have been difficult to confirm. It also, however, has played a metaphysical role—namely, to demonstrate the possibility that a physical process could perform logical operations on states having propositional content. Neither analogy provides a well-confirmed, general answer to the question of how to explain the process of ontogenetic adaptation. But together they show there are two metaphysically coherent, but conflicting, answers to this question. Depending upon one’s epistemology, the analogy with natural selection may provide a useful point of departure for a strategy of research. Such a pragmatic grounding for a research strategy does not, however, provide sufficient reason to abandon for purposes of ethics the concept of persons as autonomous agents.
  • Enriching behavioral ecology with reinforcement learning methods
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 February 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Willem E. Frankenhuis, Karthik Panchanathan, Andrew G. BartoAbstractThis article focuses on the division of labor between evolution and development in solving sequential, state-dependent decision problems. Currently, behavioral ecologists tend to use dynamic programming methods to study such problems. These methods are successful at predicting animal behavior in a variety of contexts. However, they depend on a distinct set of assumptions. Here, we argue that behavioral ecology will benefit from drawing more than it currently does on a complementary collection of tools, called reinforcement learning methods. These methods allow for the study of behavior in highly complex environments, which conventional dynamic programming methods do not feasibly address. In addition, reinforcement learning methods are well-suited to studying how biological mechanisms solve developmental and learning problems. For instance, we can use them to study simple rules that perform well in complex environments. Or to investigate under what conditions natural selection favors fixed, non-plastic traits (which do not vary across individuals), cue-driven-switch plasticity (innate instructions for adaptive behavioral development based on experience), or developmental selection (the incremental acquisition of adaptive behavior based on experience). If natural selection favors developmental selection, which includes learning from environmental feedback, we can also make predictions about the design of reward systems. Our paper is written in an accessible manner and for a broad audience, though we believe some novel insights can be drawn from our discussion. We hope our paper will help advance the emerging bridge connecting the fields of behavioral ecology and reinforcement learning.
  • A comparator-hypothesis account of biased contingency detection
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 February 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Miguel A. Vadillo, Itxaso BarberiaAbstractOur ability to detect statistical dependencies between different events in the environment is strongly biased by the number of coincidences between them. Even when there is no true covariation between a cue and an outcome, if the marginal probability of either of them is high, people tend to perceive some degree of statistical contingency between both events. The present paper explores the ability of the Comparator Hypothesis to explain the general pattern of results observed in this literature. Our simulations show that this model can account for the biasing effects of the marginal probabilities of cues and outcomes. Furthermore, the overall fit of the Comparator Hypothesis to a sample of experimental conditions from previous studies is comparable to that of the popular Rescorla-Wagner model. These results should encourage researchers to further explore and put to the test the predictions of the Comparator Hypothesis in the domain of biased contingency detection.
  • Assessing the blocking of occasion setting
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 February 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Felipe Alfaro, Jorge Mallea, Mario A. Laborda, Aracelli Cañete, Gonzalo MiguezAbstractAn occasion setter (OS) is a stimulus or context with the capacity to disambiguate an ambiguous conditioned stimulus (CS). Previous research has shown that OSs share some features with regular Pavlovian CSs. Amongst them, research has shown that OSs are subject to blocking; that is, a new OS exerts reduced behavioral control after training in compound with a previously established OS. Of additional interest, in Pavlovian blocking, it has been reported that a blocked CS comes to elicit conditioned responding after the extinction of the blocking CS. This is an example of retrospective revaluation, a family of phenomena in which the response to a specific stimulus is modified by training a related cue.Here, three experiments sought to extend the analogies between OS and Pavlovian conditioning by examining the blocking of OSs and its retrospective revaluation. In all experiments, an OS was established by pairing a CS with food in the presence of the OS, but not in its absence (i.e., positive OS). Blocking was then trained by presenting the OS in compound with a novel OS. Experiment 1 showed blocking of the second OS, but direct exposure to the blocking OS did not enhance responding to the second OS. Experiment 2 replicated the blocking effect but subsequent training of the blocking OS with a reversed contingency showed no retrospective revaluation. Experiment 3 examined whether blocking of the OS occurred with a novel CS during the compound phase. In this experiment blocking was again observed, but only when subjects were tested with the original CS. These results are discussed focusing on the underlying links at work in occasion setting.
  • An integrated bayesian theory of phenotypic flexibility
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 February 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Peter J. RichersonAbstractPhenotypic flexibility includes systems such as individual learning, social learning, and the adaptive immune system. Since the evolution of genes by natural selection is a relatively slow process, mechanisms of phenotypic flexibility are evolved to adapt to contingencies on the time scales ranging from a few hundred milliseconds (e.g. avoidance of immediate physical threats) to a few millennia (e.g. cultural adaptations to local environmental variation in the Holocene). Because environmental variation is non-stationary and fat tailed, systems of phenotypic flexibility sometimes have to be creative. They do this by means of random innovation, or exploration, and selective retention. The canonically rational way to deal with variable, uncertain environments is the Bayesian process of using new data to update priors based on past experience. Organic evolution updates the gene frequencies of populations based upon the fitness of alleles. Learning updates behavioral priors based upon the reinforcement of alternate behaviors. Genes and mechanisms of phenotypic flexibility are not isolated but richly interact. Classically, genes are said to code for the reinforcers that shape behavior in individual learning, for example. It is currently controversial whether or not these interactions include a role for the products phenotypic flexibility directly shaping selection on genes.
  • Temporal map formation in appetitive second-order conditioning in rats
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 February 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Dómhnall Jennings, Kimberly KirkpatrickAbstractThree experiments examined whether second-order conditioning resulted in the formation of a fully-featured temporal map, as proposed by the temporal coding hypothesis. Experiments 1 and 2 examined second-order conditioning with different first- and second-order relationships. Measures of the strength of second-order conditioning were mostly consistent with the temporal coding hypothesis; second-order conditioning was best with arrangements in which CS2 occurred prior to the time that the US normally occurred during CS1-US presentations. However, there was no evidence of anticipatory timing during CS2 during second-order conditioning. A third experiment directly examined whether a fully-featured temporal map was formed during second-order conditioning by examining the acquisition of anticipatory timing in subsequent reinforced second-order trials. The results of Experiment 3 suggested that the effects obtained in Experiments 1 and 2 were due to learning of the temporal order and coincidence of events that resulted in the formation of an ordinal temporal map, but that precise durations were not encoded.
  • State-dependent cognition and its relevance to cultural evolution
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 February 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Daniel NettleAbstractIndividuals cope with their worlds by using information. In humans in particular, an important potential source of information is cultural tradition. Evolutionary models have examined when it is advantageous to use cultural information, and psychological studies have examined the cognitive biases and priorities that may transform cultural traditions over time. However, these studies have not generally incorporated the idea that individuals vary in state. I argue that variation in state is likely to influence the relative payoffs of using cultural information versus gathering personal information; and also that people in different states will have different cognitive biases and priorities, leading them to transform cultural information in different ways. I explore hunger as one example of state variable likely to have consequences for cultural evolution. Variation in state has the potential to explain why cultural traditions and dynamics are so variable between individuals and populations. It offers evolutionarily-grounded links between the ecology in which individuals live, individual-level cognitive processes, and patterns of culture. However, incorporating heterogeneity of state also makes the modelling of cultural evolution more complex, particularly if the distribution of states is itself influenced by the distribution of cultural beliefs and practices.
  • Selection by reinforcement: A critical reappraisal
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 February 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): José E. BurgosAbstractThis essay is a critical reappraisal of the idea of ontogenetic selection by reinforcement, according to which learning, specifically conditioning, in the individual animal is deeply analogous to phylogenetic evolution by natural selection. I focus on two general versions of this idea. The traditional Skinnerian version restricts the idea to operant conditioning and excludes Pavlovian conditioning, based on a sharp dichotomy between the two types of conditioning. The other version extends the idea to Pavlovian conditioning, based on a unified principle of reinforcement that applies to both types of conditioning, and linked to a neural-network model. I criticize both versions on the same grounds, for being: 1) unable to capture Pavlovian conditioning; 2) unnecessary to formulate said model and use it for explanation and prediction (its combination with a genetic algorithm allows for a substantive contact with the theory of evolution by selection, without the idea of selection by reinforcement), and 3) metaphysically unsound. Non-selectionist accounts of conditioning are not only possible but also more intelligible, explanatory, and heuristic.
  • Equifinality in empirical studies of cultural transmission
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 31 January 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): Brendan J. BarrettAbstractCultural systems exhibit equifinal behavior – a single final state may be arrived at via different mechanisms and/or from different initial states. Potential for equifinality exists in all empirical studies of cultural transmission including controlled experiments, observational field research, and computational simulations. Acknowledging and anticipating the existence of equifinality is important in empirical studies of social learning and cultural evolution; it helps us understand the limitations of analytical approaches and can improve our ability to predict the dynamics of cultural transmission. Here, I illustrate and discuss examples of equifinality in studies of social learning, and how certain experimental designs might be prone to it. I then review examples of equifinality discussed in the social learning literature, namely the use of s-shaped diffusion curves to discern individual from social learning and operational definitions and analytical approaches used in studies of conformist transmission. While equifinality exists to some extent in all studies of social learning, I make suggestions for how to address instances of it, with an emphasis on using data simulation and methodological verification alongside modern statistical approaches that emphasize prediction and model comparison. In cases where evaluated learning mechanisms are equifinal due to non-methodological factors, I suggest that this is not always a problem if it helps us predict cultural change. In some cases, equifinal learning mechanisms might offer insight into how both individual learning, social learning strategies and other endogenous social factors might by important in structuring cultural dynamics and within- and between-group heterogeneity.
  • The flight of the locus of selection: Some intricate relationships between
           evolutionary elements
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 January 2018Source: Behavioural ProcessesAuthor(s): April M. BeckerAbstractSelection has enriched our understanding of the world since it was first applied to the evolution of species. Selection stands as an alternative to essentialist thinking, as a generalized and multiply applicable concept, and as a causal explanation for current forms within biology and behavior. Attempts to describe selection processes in a generalizable way have provided clarity about their minimal elements, such as replicators and interactors. This paper discusses the interconnectedness among different levels of selection using evidence garnered from evolutionary biology, development, epigenetics, neuroscience, and behavior analysis. Currently, it appears that replicators and interactors may be more fluid than previously supposed and that selection for particular traits may rely on both multiple levels of interaction and multiple levels of replication. Replicators, interactors, and environment share influence on one another, and different replicators may exchange critical control over similar interactor variation as evolution proceeds. Our current understanding of selection continues to undergo revision, and reference to a number of disparate fields can help to account for the complexity of these processes. An understanding of their interconnectedness may help resolve some mysteries that develop in fields that exclusively focus on one or a few, such as the focused study of behavior.
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