The temporal dependence of exploration on neotic style in birds

O’Hara, Mark and Mioduszewska, Berenika and von Bayern, Auguste and Auersperg, Alice and Bugnyar, Thomas and Wilkinson, Anna and Huber, Ludwig and Gajdon, Gyula Koppany (2017) The temporal dependence of exploration on neotic style in birds. Scientific Reports, 7 (1). p. 4742. ISSN 2045-2322

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-04751-0

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Abstract

Exploration (interacting with objects to gain information) and neophobia (avoiding novelty) are
considered independent traits shaped by the socio-ecology of a given species. However, in the
literature it is often assumed that neophobia inhibits exploration. Here, we investigate how different
approaches to novelty (fast or slow) determine the time at which exploration is likely to occur across a
number of species. We presented four corvid and five parrot species with a touchscreen discrimination
task in which novel stimuli were occasionally interspersed within the familiar training stimuli. We
investigated the likelihood that an animal would choose novelty at different stages of its training and
found evidence for a shift in the pattern of exploration, depending on neotic style. The findings suggest
that faster approaching individuals explored earlier, whilst animals with long initial approach latencies
showed similar amounts of exploration but did so later in training. Age rather than species might have
influenced the amount of total exploration, with juveniles exploring more than adults. Neotic style
varied consistently only for one species and seems to involve a strong individual component, rather
than being a purely species-specific trait. This suggests that variation in behavioural phenotypes within
a species may be adaptive.

Keywords:Animal cognition
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:28475
Deposited On:23 Aug 2017 13:03

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