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Animal Cognition

Tinglei Jiang, Xiong Guo, Aiqing Lin, Hui Wu, Congnan Sun, Jiang Feng, Jagmeet S Kanwal
Natural background noises are common in the acoustic environments in which most organisms have evolved. Therefore, the vocalization and sound perception systems of vocal animals are inherently equipped to overcome natural background noise. Human-generated noises, however, pose new challenges that can hamper audiovocal communication. The mechanisms animals use to cope with anthropogenic noise disturbances have been extensively explored in a variety of taxa. Bats emit echolocation pulses primarily to orient, locate and navigate, while social calls are used to communicate with conspecifics...
January 10, 2019: Animal Cognition
Daniel J Horschler, Brian Hare, Josep Call, Juliane Kaminski, Ádám Miklósi, Evan L MacLean
Large-scale phylogenetic studies of animal cognition have revealed robust links between absolute brain volume and species differences in executive function. However, past comparative samples have been composed largely of primates, which are characterized by evolutionarily derived neural scaling rules. Therefore, it is currently unknown whether positive associations between brain volume and executive function reflect a broad-scale evolutionary phenomenon, or alternatively, a unique consequence of primate brain evolution...
January 3, 2019: Animal Cognition
Brad Gasser, Michael Arbib
It has been argued that variation in gesture usage among apes is influenced either by differential sampling of an innate 'gesture space' (Hobaiter and Byrne in Anim Cogn 14:745-767, 2011) or through the 'mutual shaping of behavior' (Halina et al. in Anim Cogn 16(4):653-666, 2013) referred to as ontogenetic ritualization. In either case, learning must play some role in how individuals come to use particular gestures-either through reinforcement within the set of innately specified gestures, or through the ritualization of some action following periods of direct interaction between pairs of individuals...
January 2, 2019: Animal Cognition
Francesca De Petrillo, Martina Caroli, Emanuele Gori, Antonia Micucci, Serena Gastaldi, Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde, Elsa Addessi
Money is a cultural artefact with a central role in human society. Here, we investigated whether some features of money may be traced back to the exchange habits of nonhuman animals, capitalizing on their ability to flexibly use tokens in different domains. In Experiment 1, we evaluated whether capuchins can recognize token validity. Six subjects were required to exchange with the experimenter valid/familiar tokens, valid/unfamiliar tokens, invalid tokens, and no-value items. They first exchanged a similar number of valid/familiar and valid/unfamiliar tokens, followed by exchanges of invalid tokens and no-value items...
January 2, 2019: Animal Cognition
Yi-Huei Huang, Hsu-Jung Lin, Li-Yu Lin, Chuan-Chin Chiao
Number sense is a key cognitive function in animals. The biological functions of number discrimination have a wide range, including the selection of prey and social interaction. In a previous study, we have shown that cuttlefish are able to distinguish numerical differences among various integers, including 1 vs. 2, 2 vs. 3, 3 vs. 4, and 4 vs. 5. However, it is not known whether cuttlefish are able to discriminate various fractions, that is, various non-integer numbers. In addition, no study on invertebrates has examined fraction number sense...
January 2, 2019: Animal Cognition
Kento Kawasaka, Takashi Hotta, Masanori Kohda
Faces are the most important body part for differentiating among human individuals by humans. Humans read the face as a whole, rather than looking at its parts, which makes it more difficult to recognise inverted faces than upright. Some other mammals also identify each other based on the upright face and take longer to recognise inverted faces. This effect is called the face inversion effect and is considered as evidence for face-specific perception. This ability has rarely been observed in animals other than mammals, but it was recently reported that some fish species could distinguish among individuals based on the face...
January 2, 2019: Animal Cognition
Joe Simpson, Sean J O'Hara
Gaze following is the ability to utilise information from another's gaze. It is most often seen in a social context or as a reflexive response to interesting external stimuli. Social species can potentially reveal utilisable knowledge about another's future intentions by attending to the target of their gaze. However, in even more fundamental situations, being sensitive to another's gaze can also be useful such as when it can facilitate greater foraging efficiency or lead to earlier predator detection. While gaze sensitivity has been shown to be prevalent in a number of social species, little is currently known about the potential for gaze following in asocial species...
December 22, 2018: Animal Cognition
Yang Bai, Zhong-Hua Tang, Shi-Jian Fu
Group living confers ecological benefits, and the associated fitness gain may be positively related to the size of the group. Thus, the ability to discriminate numerical differences may confer important fitness advantages in social fish. There is evidence that this ability can be improved by behavioral interactions among individuals of the same species. Here, we looked for this effect in both conspecific and heterospecific dyads. In Chinese bream and grass carp, we measured the sociability and shoal preferences of singletons, conspecific dyads and heterospecific dyads presented with different numerical comparisons (0 vs 8, 2 vs 8, 4 vs 8, 6 vs 8 and 8 vs 8)...
December 12, 2018: Animal Cognition
Marie Bourjade, Florence Gaunet, Anaïs Maugard, Adrien Meguerditchian
Reading the attentional state of an audience is crucial for effective intentional communication. This study investigates how individual learning experience affects subsequent ability to tailor gestural communication to audience visual attention. Olive baboons were atypically trained to request food with gestures by a human standing in profile, while not having access to her face. They were tested immediately after training, and then 1 year later in conditions that varied the human's cues to attention. In immediate testing, these baboons (profile group baboons) gestured towards untrained cues regardless of their relevance for visual communication...
November 30, 2018: Animal Cognition
Annie Gott, Clare Andrews, Tom Bedford, Daniel Nettle, Melissa Bateson
Judgement bias tasks are designed to provide markers of affective states. A recent study of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) demonstrated modest familial effects on judgement bias performance, and found that adverse early experience and developmental telomere attrition (an integrative marker of biological age) both affected judgement bias. Other research has shown that corticosterone levels affect judgement bias. Here, we investigated judgement bias using a modified Go/No Go task in a new cohort of starlings (n = 31) hand-reared under different early-life conditions...
November 23, 2018: Animal Cognition
Penelope S Carbia, Culum Brown
Behavioural plasticity is an advantageous trait for animals living in dynamic environments, and can be induced through learning. While some behavioural traits are innate, others are framed by experience and learning during an individual's lifetime. Many studies have investigated cognitive abilities in fish species from contrasting environments, but the relative contribution of natural selection versus behavioural plasticity in cognitive variability remains equivocal. Furthermore, rearing conditions in laboratories are often mundane, failing to encourage natural behaviour in the species used in these studies...
November 22, 2018: Animal Cognition
Penglai Fan, Ruoshuang Liu, Cyril C Grueter, Fang Li, Feng Wu, Tianpeng Huang, Hui Yao, Dingzhen Liu, Xuecong Liu
Vocal individuality is a prerequisite for individual recognition, especially when visual and chemical cues are not available or effective. Vocalizations encoding information of individual identity have been reported in many social animals and should be particularly adaptive for species living in large and complexly organized societies. Here, we examined the individuality in coo calls of adult male golden snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana) living in a large and multilevel society. Coo calls are one of the most frequently occurring call types in R...
November 20, 2018: Animal Cognition
Thomas R Zentall, Danielle M Andrews, Jacob P Case
When pigeons are given a choice between 50% signaled reinforcement and 100% reinforcement they typically do not choose optimally, sometimes even preferring 50% reinforcement. Smith and Zentall (J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process 42:212-220, 2016) proposed that choice depends primarily on the predictive value of the signal for reinforcement associated with each alternative (both 100% reinforcement) and not the frequency of the signal for reinforcement (50% vs. 100%). With extended training, however, Case and Zentall (Behav Process, 2018) found that pigeons actually show a reliable preference for the 50% reinforcement alternative...
November 14, 2018: Animal Cognition
Gabriela Barrera, Alessandra Alterisio, Anna Scandurra, Mariana Bentosela, Biagio D'Aniello
Inhibitory control is a collection of several processes that are aimed to refrain from any impulsive response in the subject during inappropriate situations. Evidence suggests that in dogs, the inhibitory control is affected by domestication process, but also experiences during ontogeny could be an important driver in acquiring inhibitory control. The aim of the study was to compare the performance of highly trained dogs (i.e., water rescue dogs) and pet dogs in the A-not-B task. In this procedure, the animals have to inhibit their urge of going to a previous reinforced place...
November 12, 2018: Animal Cognition
Elisa Jacinto, Péter Szenczi, Robyn Hudson, Oxána Bánszegi
Mother cats can discriminate between their own and alien kittens using kittens' body odour. Here we ask whether they can also distinguish between body odours of kittens from the same litter. We conducted three experiments using the habituation-dishabituation technique with the odour of 1- and 7-week-old kittens of both sexes. In Experiment 1, we found no evidence that mothers discriminated among their own kittens of either age when presented three times with the odour of one individual (habituation trials) and then with the odour of a different individual (dishabituation or discrimination trial), even when the donor kittens were of different sex...
October 31, 2018: Animal Cognition
Simon Potier, Olivier Duriez, Aurélie Célérier, Jean-Louis Liegeois, Francesco Bonadonna
Raptors are usually considered to be mainly visually dependent, and the use of other sensory modalities has rarely been studied in these birds. Here, we investigated experimentally which senses (vision and/or olfaction) Turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) and Southern caracaras (Caracara plancus) use to find hidden food. First, two identical stainless-steel perforated balls, one containing a putrefied piece of meat and the other an odorless control, were presented to birds in binary choice experiments. Both species interacted more with the smelling ball than with the control, suggesting that they were attracted by the odor of the hidden meat...
October 26, 2018: Animal Cognition
Anna Ilona Roberts, Sam George Bradley Roberts
A key challenge for primates is coordinating behaviour with conspecifics in large, complex social groups. Gestures play a key role in this process and chimpanzees show considerable flexibility communicating through single gestures, sequences of gestures interspersed with periods of response waiting (persistence), and rapid sequences where gestures are made in quick succession, too rapid for the response waiting to have occurred. The previous studies examined behavioural reactions to single gestures and sequences, but whether this complexity is associated with more complex sociality at the level of the dyad partner and the group as a whole is not well understood...
October 19, 2018: Animal Cognition
Susan Perry
The original article shows incorrect values for 'Coef. and Robust SE' under the heading.
November 2018: Animal Cognition
Wei Xiong, Lian-Chun Yi, Zhonghua Tang, Xin Zhao, Shi-Jian Fu
Fish typically prefer to live in big shoals due to the associated ecological benefits. Shoaling is a behavior that depends on the ability to quantitatively discriminate. The fundamental mechanism involved in quantity discrimination determines whether fish can discriminate a shoal using numerical discrete cues (e.g., number of shoal members), non-numerical continuous traits (e.g., total body surface area) or both; however, the mechanism is currently a controversial topic. In the present study, we used a spontaneous choice experiment to test whether guppy (Poecilia reticulata), zebrafish (Danio rerio), Chinese crucian carp (Carassius auratus) and qingbo (Spinibarbus sinensis) rely on continuous (i...
November 2018: Animal Cognition
Francesca Zoratto, Giulia Cordeschi, Giacomo Grignani, Roberto Bonanni, Enrico Alleva, Giuseppe Nascetti, Jennifer A Mather, Claudio Carere
Studies of animal personality have shown consistent between-individual variation in behaviour in many social and non-social contexts, but hunting behaviour has been overlooked. Prey capture sequences, especially in invertebrates, are supposed to be quite invariant. In cuttlefish, the attack includes three components: attention, positioning, and seizure. The previous studies indicated some variability in these components and we quantified it under the hypothesis that it could relate to personality differences...
November 2018: Animal Cognition
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