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Behavioural Processes

Jamie Ahloy-Dallaire, Julia Espinosa, Georgia Mason
Play is commonly used to assess affective states in both humans and non-human animals. Play appears to be most common when animals are well-fed and not under any direct threats to fitness. Could play and playfulness therefore indicate pre-existing positive emotions, and thence optimal animal welfare? We examine this question by surveying the internal and external conditions that promote or suppress play in a variety of species, starting with humans. We find that negative affective states and poor welfare usually do suppress play (although there are notable exceptions where the opposite occurs)...
November 16, 2017: Behavioural Processes
Andreas Traschütz, Markus P Kummer, Stephanie Schwartz, Michael T Heneka
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 15, 2017: Behavioural Processes
Natalia Albuquerque, Kun Guo, Anna Wilkinson, Briseida Resende, Daniel S Mills
Dogs are able to perceptually discriminate emotional displays of conspecifics and heterospecifics and possess the cognitive prototypes for emotional categorisation, however, it remains unclear whether dogs can respond appropriately to this information. One way to assess associations between specific behaviours and the perception of emotionally competent stimuli is to look at other reliable measures that are related to cognitive and physiological processing. Using a cross-modal preferential looking paradigm (Albuquerque et al...
November 10, 2017: Behavioural Processes
Ibrahim M Hegab, Yuchen Tan, Chan Wang, Baohui Yao, Haifang Wang, Weihong Ji, Junhu Su
Recognition memory is important for the survival and fitness of subterranean rodents due to the barren underground conditions that require avoiding the burden of higher energy costs or possible conflict with conspecifics. Our study aims to examine the object and object/place recognition memories in plateau zokors (Eospalax baileyi) and test whether their underground life exerts sex-specific differences in memory functions using Novel Object Recognition (NOR) and Object-in-Place (OiP) paradigms. Animals were tested in the NOR with short (10min) and long-term (24h) inter-trial intervals (ITI) and in the OiP for a 30-min ITI between the familiarization and testing sessions...
November 10, 2017: Behavioural Processes
Sofia Cividini, Giuseppe Montesanto
The present study focuses on the relationship existing between the phenomenon of turn alternation and substrate-borne vibrations in woodlice. Armadillo officinalis was utilized as a behavioral model in comparison to Armadillidium vulgare so as to assess its capability of perceiving external vibrations too. A T-maze with multiple exits was used to collect information on the pattern of turn alternation in i) adult individuals of A. officinalis exposed, and ii) not exposed to micro-vibrations, and iii) adult individuals of A...
November 9, 2017: Behavioural Processes
Zoe Thompson, Erik M Kolb, Theodore Garland
To explore reward substitution in the context of voluntary exercise, female mice from four replicate high-runner (HR) lines (bred for wheel running) and four non-selected control (C) lines were given simultaneous access to wheels and palatable solutions as competing rewards (two doses of saccharin [0.1, 0.2% w/v]; two doses of common artificial sweetener blends containing saccharin [Sweet 'N Low(®): 0.1, 0.2% w/v], aspartame [Equal(®): 0.04, 0.08% w/v], or sucralose [Splenda(®): 0.08, 0.16% w/v]; or two doses of sucrose [3...
November 7, 2017: Behavioural Processes
Andrés Molero-Chamizo
In rats, the reduction of the magnitude of a conditioned taste aversion (CTA) that occurs after taste pre-exposures (that is, the latent inhibition of CTA) can be attenuated by contextual changes of the external cues in the conditioning stage. Similarly, circadian internal cues such as those induced by the time of day may also modulate the magnitude of the taste aversion. Under a long period of temporal-contextual habituation, the latent inhibition of CTA is reduced if the pre-exposure and conditioning stages occur at different times of day...
November 7, 2017: Behavioural Processes
Julia Hyland Bruno, Ofer Tchernichovski
The proliferation of birdsong research into the neural mechanisms of vocal learning is indebted to the remarkable stereotypy of the zebra finch's song motif. Motifs are composed of several copied syllables, which birds learn to produce in a fixed order. But at a higher level of organization-the bout-zebra finch song is no longer stereotyped. Song bouts include several repetitions of the motif, which are often linked by a variable number of short "connector" vocalizations. In this conceptual methods paper, we show that combinatorial analysis alone yields an incomplete description of this bout-level structure...
November 6, 2017: Behavioural Processes
Joshua H Nix, Ryan G Howell, Lucas K Hall, Brock R McMillan
Human recreation can negatively affect wildlife, particularly on weekends when human activity is highest (i.e., the weekend effect). Much of what we understand about the weekend effect is based on research conducted on diurnal species, which have greater temporal overlap with humans. Because nocturnal species generally avoid times when humans are active, they are likely less affected by anthropogenic activity on weekends. Our objective was to test the weekend effect in relation to the degree of nocturnality of mammals in a recreational area...
November 6, 2017: Behavioural Processes
Sabrina Brando, Hannah M Buchanan-Smith
We have an ethical responsibility to provide captive animals with environments that allow them to experience good welfare. Husbandry activities are often scheduled for the convenience of care staff working within the constraints of the facility, rather than considering the biological and psychological requirements of the animals themselves. The animal welfare 24/7 across the lifespan concept provides a holistic framework to map features of the animal's life cycle, taking into account their natural history, in relation to variations in the captive environment, across day and night, weekdays, weekends, and seasons...
November 4, 2017: Behavioural Processes
Xinyi Jiang, Yao Zhao, Qian Yan, Changchun Li, Qinghong Jiang, Yueli Yun, Yu Peng
According to sexual selection theory, age affects the preference of mate choice, and this preference ultimately influences the fecundity of the female. Pardosa pseudoannulata (Araneae: Lycosidae) is a valued predator in many cropping systems. By determining oviposition rate, egg hatching rate, and also the number and carapace width of the 2nd instar spiderlings of the F1 generation, we explored the effects of age on fecundity of the female spider. There were no significant effects of age on courtship duration, sexual cannibalism rate, mating rate, oviposition rate, egg hatching rate, or the number and carapace width of 2nd instar spiderings of P...
November 3, 2017: Behavioural Processes
Elizabeth A Becker, Frank R Castelli, Christine N Yohn, Lindsey Spencer, Catherine A Marler
Species comparisons indicate that scent-marking may differ as a function of mating system and co-housing with the opposite sex ("pairing"). We previously demonstrated that pairing may decrease male solicitation to unfamiliar females in the monogamous Peromyscus californicus but not in the non-monogamous P. leucopus. Whether urine scent-marking of females changes following pairing and whether scent-marking of paired males varies in response to scent-marks of their cagemate versus those of an unfamiliar female has not been examined...
October 31, 2017: Behavioural Processes
Zhongqiu Li, Ye Che, Le Yang
Sequential randomness is one of the three important assumptions for Pulliam's vigilance model (1973). Here we tested the sequential randomness in Black-necked cranes Grus nigricollis, to see if the vigilance sequence can be predicted. Not similar to other recent studies, we found that most vigilance sequences (44/46) passed runs randomness test, and the length of an inter-scan interval was usually unrelated to its previous scan duration. Our findings suggest high predation risk might favor a random pattern of vigilance...
October 27, 2017: Behavioural Processes
Yonatan Wexler, Inon Scharf
Stress is ubiquitous in nature and organisms have evolved mechanisms to cope with it. Stress responses nevertheless vary based on the type of stress, its duration, magnitude, and the organism's physiological status. We studied here the effect of two separately applied stress types, differing also in their duration, on various behavioral responses of the red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum). The two stress types applied were short-term cold stress and long-term low protein stress. The behavioral response variables were movement activity, preference to move along the test arena edges, latency to emerge from shelter, and preference for dark microhabitat, measured at two stages of the beetles' lives, as young adults after eclosion and one month later...
October 26, 2017: Behavioural Processes
Sarah-Elizabeth Byosiere, Lynna C Feng, Philippe A Chouinard, Tiffani J Howell, Pauleen C Bennett
One central issue in the study of animal cognition concerns conceptual behaviour, where an organism categorises objects, events, and relationships so as to transfer previously learned rules to novel contexts. In this study, we investigated whether or not dogs demonstrate conceptual behaviour in the form of simple relational class concept learning. A two-choice visual discrimination task was used to assess if dogs are capable of simple relational class concept learning by generalising the same rule (i.e. circle is larger or smaller than) to various novel shapes...
October 19, 2017: Behavioural Processes
Cole Tobin, Angela Medina-García, Gregory M Kohn, Timothy F Wright
In many bird species, male song functions both to defend a territory against other males and to attract a female mate. Male budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) produce a song-like vocal signal, the warble, that can be directed at either females or other males. Warble is a long, complex, low amplitude, and variable vocalization composed of different element types. While there is some evidence that warble can induce reproduction, the function of this signal is largely uncertain and it is unclear whether male- and female-directed warble differ in either function or structure...
October 18, 2017: Behavioural Processes
Caterina Spiezio, Carola Leonardi, Barbara Regaiolli
Tortoises perceive different colours and rely on the visual system to find food. However, few studies have considered colour preference in tortoises, especially in land species. The aim of this study is to investigate whether Aldabra giant tortoises (Geochelone gigantea) housed in Parco Natura Viva (VR), an Italian zoological garden, show a specific colour preference in their social context. The study was divided into two different periods in which red and yellow balls of the same size were scattered around in the outdoor enclosure...
October 12, 2017: Behavioural Processes
Lauren V Riters, Jeremy A Spool, Devin P Merullo, Allison H Hahn
In adult songbirds, the primary functions of song are mate attraction and territory defense; yet, many songbirds sing at high rates as juveniles and outside these primary contexts as adults. Singing outside primary contexts is critical for song learning and maintenance, and ultimately necessary for breeding success. However, this type of singing (i.e., song "practice") occurs even in the absence of immediate or obvious extrinsic reinforcement; that is, it does not attract mates or repel competitors. Here we review studies that support the hypothesis that song practice is stimulated and maintained by intrinsic reward mechanisms (i...
October 12, 2017: Behavioural Processes
J L Vickruck, M H Richards
How animals recognize conspecific individuals has important outcomes in many contexts, but interactions among group members are particularly important. Two recognition criteria are often implicated in these interactions: kin recognition is based on relatedness cues and nestmate recognition is based on familiarity. For social insects, both types of recognition are possible, as many nestmates are close kin and familiarity can develop among individuals that encounter each other repeatedly. To discern whether social insects use kin or nestmate recognition, it is necessary to simultaneously assess how relatedness and familiarity influence behaviour...
October 12, 2017: Behavioural Processes
Kate Lewis, Kris Descovich, Martin Jones
Captive bears are housed in environments that differ greatly from their natural habitat, restricting their ability to perform normal species-specific behaviours. This may be detrimental to welfare, with disabled individuals at particular risk. The effect of physical disability on behaviour and enclosure utilisation was assessed in 12 adult Malayan sun bears (Helarctos malayanus) using 10min interval scan sampling. Amputees spent less time performing locomotor behaviours than able-bodied bears, used their enclosures less evenly, but did not exhibit obvious stereotypies...
October 10, 2017: Behavioural Processes
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