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Rxivist combines biology preprints from bioRxiv and medRxiv with data from Twitter to help you find the papers being discussed in your field. Currently indexing 128,741 papers from 551,614 authors.

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in category animal behavior and cognition

1,718 results found. For more information, click each entry to expand.

1641: Separating noise and function in systems of animal communication: a comparative study of aggressive signaling in crayfish
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Posted 04 Aug 2020

Separating noise and function in systems of animal communication: a comparative study of aggressive signaling in crayfish
103 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

Zackary A. Graham, Michael J. Angilletta

A primary issue in the study of dishonest signaling is the researchers ability to detect and describe a signal as being dishonest. However, by understanding the relative honesty of a signal as a statistical property of an individual or population, researchers have recently quantitively describe dishonest communication. Thus, dishonesty signals can be understood as when there is a breakdown in the correlation between a signal and its underlying meaning; creating variation within a signaling system. However, such variation in signaling systems may not be attributed to dishonesty, because of inherent noise within biological systems driven by evolutionary or physiological noise. Here, we try to separate out functional variation within honest or dishonesty signaling systems from inherent biological noise by leveraging homologous structures that have evolved for separate functions; the enlarged claws of freshwater crayfish. Because burrowing species of freshwater crayfish claws have not evolved as signals, the variability in the size and strength of their claws should be minimal when compared to claws of non-burrowing species that evolved as signals during aggression. We found that despite the claws of burrowing and nonburrowing crayfish claws having evolved to serve difference functions, the claws of all species in our study were inherently noisy. Furthermore, although claws that unreliably correlate to the strengthen the wielder may function as dishonest signals in other crustaceans, we did not find support for this hypothesis; because crayfish escalated aggression based on relative body size. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

1642: Major oscillations in spontaneous home-cage activity with an infraradian periodicity in C57Bl/6 mice housed under constant conditions
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Posted 10 Sep 2020

Major oscillations in spontaneous home-cage activity with an infraradian periodicity in C57Bl/6 mice housed under constant conditions
102 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

K. Pernold, E Rullman, B. Ulfhake

Using 14-20 months of cumulative 24/7 home-cage activity recorded with a non-intrusive technique and a data driven analytical approach, we here provide evidence for the existence of a circannual oscillation (1-2 SD of the mean, on average 65% higher during peak of highs than lows; P=7E-50) in spontaneous activity of male and female C57BL/6 mice held under constant barrier conditions (dark-light cycle 12/12 h (DL), temperature 21±1°C, humidity 40-60%). The periodicity of the season-like oscillation is in the range of 2-4 months (on average 97 days across cohorts of cages) and off-sets also responses to environmental stimuli but does not significantly alter the preference for activity during the dark hours of this nocturnal mouse strain (P=0.11 difference between highs and lows). The significance of this hitherto not recognized slow rhythmic alteration in spontaneous activity is further substantiated by its co-variation with the feeding behaviour of the mice. The absence of coordination within and between cohorts of cages or synchronization to the seasons of the year, suggests that the oscillation of in-cage activity and behavioural responses is generated by a free-running intrinsic oscillator devoid of synchronization with an out-of-cage environmental time-keeper. Since the variation over time has such a magnitude and correlate with the feeding behaviour it is likely that it will impact a range of long term experiments conducted on laboratory mice if left unrecognized.

1643: Practical Design and Implementation of Animal Movements Tracking System for Neuroscience Trials
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Posted 26 Jul 2020

Practical Design and Implementation of Animal Movements Tracking System for Neuroscience Trials
102 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

Majid Memarian Sorkhabi

Background: The nervous system functions of an animal are predominantly reflected in the behaviour and the movement, therefore the movement-related data and measuring behavior quantitatively are crucial for behavioural analyses. The animal movement is traditionally recorded, and human observers follow the animal behaviours; if they recognize a certain behaviour pattern, they will note it manually, which may suffer from observer fatigue or drift. Objective: Automating behavioural observations with computer-vision algorithms are becoming essential equipment to the brain function characterization in neuroscience trials. In this study, the proposed tracking module is eligible to measure the locomotor behaviour (such as speed, distance, turning) over longer time periods that the operator is unable to precisely evaluate. For this aim, a novel animal cage is designed and implemented to track the animal movement. The frames received from the camera are analyzed by the 2D bior 3.7 Wavelet transform and SURF feature points. Results: Implemented video tracking device can report the location, duration, speed, frequency and latency of each behavior of an animal. Validation tests were conducted on the auditory stimulation trial and the magnetic stimulation treatment of hemi-Parkinsonian rats. Conclusion/ Significance: The proposed toolkit can provide qualitative and quantitative data on animal behaviour in an automated fashion, and precisely summarize an animal's movement at an arbitrary time and allows operators to analyse movement patterns without requiring to check full records for every experiment. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

1644: Effects of maternal deprivation and complex housing on pro-social behavior in rats: An automated, operant task examining motivation to liberate a trapped conspecific
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Posted 01 Dec 2020

Effects of maternal deprivation and complex housing on pro-social behavior in rats: An automated, operant task examining motivation to liberate a trapped conspecific
102 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

Aikaterini Kalamari, Jiska Kentrop, Chiara Hinna Danesi, Evelien J.M Graat, Marinus H. van IJzendoorn, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian Joels, Rixt van der Veen

Early life environment influences the development of various aspects of social behavior, particularly during sensitive developmental periods. Here, we aimed to study how challenges in the early postnatal period or (early) adolescence affect pro-social behavior. To this end, we adapted an existing paw operated liberation task to an automated operant task, to measure motivation (by progressively increasing required lever pressing) to liberate a trapped conspecific. Liberation of the trapped rat resulted either in social contact, or in liberation into a separate compartment. Additionally, a condition was tested in which both rats could freely move in two separate compartments and lever pressing resulted in social contact. When partners were not trapped, rats were more motivated to press the lever for opening the door than in either of the trapped configurations. Contrary to our expectation, the trapped configuration resulted in a reduced motivation to act. Early postnatal stress (24h maternal deprivation on postnatal day 3) did not affect behavior in the liberation task. However, rearing rats from early adolescence onwards in complex housing conditions (Marlau cages) reduced the motivation to door opening, both in the trapped and freely moving conditions, while motivation for a sucrose reward was not affected.

1645: Training level reveals a dynamic dialogue between stress and memory systems in birds
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Posted 06 Jan 2021

Training level reveals a dynamic dialogue between stress and memory systems in birds
102 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

Flore Lormant, Vitor Hugo Bessa Ferreira, Julie Lemarchand, Fabien Cornilleau, Paul Constantin, Céline Parias, Aline Bertin, Léa Lansade, Christine Leterrier, Frédéric Lévy, Ludovic Calandreau

It is now well-accepted that memory is a dynamic process, and that stress and training level may influence which memory system an individual engages when solving a task. In this work, we investigated whether and how chronic stress impacts spatial and cue-based memories according to training level. To that aim, control and chronically stressed Japanese quail were trained in a task that could be solved using spatial and cue-based memory and tested for their memory performances after 5 and 15 training days (initial training and overtraining, respectively) and following an emotional challenge (exposure to an open field). While chronic stress negatively impacted spatial memory in chronically stressed birds after initial training, this impact was lowered after overtraining compared to control quail. Interestingly, the emotional challenge reinstated the differences in performance between the two groups, revealing that chronic stress/overtraining did not eliminate spatial memory. Differences caused by previous stressors can re-emerge depending on the more immediate psychological state of the individual. Contrary to spatial memory, cue-based memory was not impaired in any test occasion, confirming that this form of memory is resistant to chronic stress. Altogether these findings reveal a dynamic dialogue between stress, training, and memory systems in birds.

1646: Urban fox squirrels exhibit habituation to humans but respond to stimuli from natural predators
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Posted 18 Dec 2020

Urban fox squirrels exhibit habituation to humans but respond to stimuli from natural predators
102 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

Anna Kittendorf, Ben Dantzer

Animals in urban areas that experience frequent exposure to humans often behave differently than those in less urban areas, such as less vigilance or anti-predator behavior. These behavioral shifts may be an adaptive response to urbanization and caused by habituation to humans. A possible negative consequence is cross-habituation to natural predators where urban animals exhibit reduced anti-predator behavior in the presence of humans but also to their natural predators. We tested the hypothesis that habituation to humans in urban populations of fox squirrels (Sciurus niger) causes cross-habituation to stimuli from two possible predators (hawks and domestic dogs). We exposed squirrels in multiple urban and less urban sites to acoustic playbacks of a control stimulus (non-predatory bird calls), a natural predator (hawk), and dogs and recorded their vigilance and three different anti-predator behaviors when a human approached them while either broadcasting one of these three playbacks or no playbacks at all. In trials with no playbacks, urban squirrels exhibited reduced vigilance and anti-predator behavior compared to those in less urban areas but there was little evidence that urbanization altered the correlations among the different behaviors we quantified. Urban squirrels exhibited increased vigilance and anti-predator behavior when exposed to a human paired with hawk playbacks compared to the control playbacks. This indicates that urban squirrels did perceive and assess risk to the natural predator appropriately despite exhibiting habituation to humans. There is currently little evidence that habituation to humans causes animals to lose their fear of natural predators.

1647: Aerial course stabilization is impaired in motion-blind flies
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Posted 16 Dec 2020

Aerial course stabilization is impaired in motion-blind flies
101 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

Maria-Bianca Leonte, Aljoscha Leonhardt, Alexander Borst, Alex S. Mauss

Visual motion detection is among the best understood neuronal computations. One assumed behavioural role is to detect self-motion and to counteract involuntary course deviations, extensively investigated in tethered walking or flying flies. In free flight, however, any deviation from a straight course is signalled by both the visual system as well as by proprioceptive mechanoreceptors called halteres, which are the equivalent of the vestibular system in vertebrates. Therefore, it is yet unclear to what extent motion vision contributes to course control, or whether straight flight is completely controlled by proprioceptive feedback from the halteres. To answer these questions, we genetically rendered flies motion-blind by blocking their primary motion-sensitive neurons and quantified their free-flight performance. We found that such flies have difficulties maintaining a straight flight trajectory, much like control flies in the dark. By unilateral wing clipping, we generated an asymmetry in propulsory force and tested the ability of flies to compensate for this perturbation. While wild-type flies showed a remarkable level of compensation, motion-blind animals exhibited pronounced circling behaviour. Our results therefore unequivocally demonstrate that motion vision is necessary to fly straight under realistic conditions.

1648: Colour vision and information theory: the receptor noise-limited model implies optimal colour discrimination by opponent channels
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Posted 10 Aug 2020

Colour vision and information theory: the receptor noise-limited model implies optimal colour discrimination by opponent channels
101 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

Sebastián Risau-Gusman

In order to interpret animal behaviour we need to understand how they see the world. As colour discrimination is almost impossible to test directly in animals, it is important to develop theoretical models based in the properties of visual systems. One of the most successful is the receptor noise-limited (RNL) model, which depends only on the level of noise in photoreceptors and opponent mechanisms. Here optimal colour discrimination properties are obtained using information theoretical tools,for the early stages of visual systems with and without colour opponent mechanisms. For most biologically relevant conditions the optimal discrimination function of an ideal observer coincides with the one obtained with the RNL model. Many variants of the model can be cast into the same framework, which permits meaningful comparisons across species. For example, it is shown that the presence of opponency seems to be the preferred hypothesis for bees, but not for budgerigars. Since this is a consequence of the presence of oil droplets, this could also be true for most other species of birds. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

1649: Ungulate Responses to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Flying at Different Altitudes in Africa’s Arid Savanna
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Posted 14 Jul 2020

Ungulate Responses to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Flying at Different Altitudes in Africa’s Arid Savanna
101 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

Marlice vanVuuren, Rudie vanVuuren, Larry M. Silverberg, Joe Manning, Krishna Pacifici, Werner Dorgeloh, Jennifer Campbell

This paper tests the hypothesis that ungulate-UAV interaction depends strongly on flight altitude, that there may be a lowest altitude range for which the ungulates are not exceedingly disturbed, dictating a practically achievable level of discernibility in flight observation. This question strongly influences the future viability of the UAV in the study and protection of the ungulates in Africa’s arid savanna. This paper examined the behavioral responses of a group of free ranging ungulate species (Oryx, Kudu, Springbok, Giraffe, Eland, Hartebeest, and Impala) found in an animal reserve in Namibia to the presence of different in-flight UAV models. The study included 99 flights (337 passes) at altitudes ranging from 15 to 55 meters. The ungulates were unhabituated to the UAVs and the study was conducted in the presence of stress-inducing events that occur naturally in the environment. The results suggest strong correlations between flight altitude and response across the different ungulates and anecdotal evidence suggests in some cases rapid habituation to the UAVs.

1650: Inactivation of posterior but not anterior dorsomedial caudate-putamen impedes learning with self-administered nicotine stimulus
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Posted 31 Aug 2020

Inactivation of posterior but not anterior dorsomedial caudate-putamen impedes learning with self-administered nicotine stimulus
100 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

Christopher L. Robison, Theodore Kazan, Rikki Miller, Nicole Cova, Sergios Charntikov

The rodent caudate-putamen is a large heterogeneous neural structure with distinct anatomical connections that differ in their control of learning processes. Previous research suggests that the anterior and posterior dorsomedial caudate-putamen (a- and p-dmCPu) differentially regulate associative learning with a non-contingent nicotine stimulus. The current study used bilateral NMDA-induced excitotoxic lesions to the a-dmCPu and p-dmCPu to determine the functional involvement of a-dmCPu and p-dmCPu in appetitive learning with contingent nicotine stimulus. Rats with a-dmCPu, p-dmCPu, or sham lesions were trained to lever-press for intravenous nicotine (0.03 mg/kg/inf) followed by access to sucrose 30 s later. After 1, 3, 9, and 20 nicotine-sucrose training sessions, appetitive learning in the form of a goal-tracking response was assessed using a non-contingent nicotine-alone test. All rats acquired nicotine self-administration and learned to retrieve sucrose from a receptacle at equal rates. However, rats with lesions to p-dmCPu demonstrated blunted learning of the nicotine-sucrose association. Our primary findings show that rats with lesions to p-dmCPu had a blunted goal-tracking response to a non-contingent nicotine administration after 20 consecutive days of nicotine-sucrose pairing. Our findings extend previous reports to a contingent model of nicotine self-administration and show that p-dmCPu is involved in associative learning with nicotine stimulus using a paradigm where rats voluntarily self-administer nicotine infusions that are paired with access to sucrose—a paradigm that closely resembles learning processes observed in humans. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

1651: Parental feeding preferences rather than sibling competition determine the death of smaller nestlings in asynchronous broods
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Posted 02 Dec 2020

Parental feeding preferences rather than sibling competition determine the death of smaller nestlings in asynchronous broods
100 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

Manuel Soler, Francisco Ruiz-Raya, Lucia Sanchez-Perez, Juan Diego Ibanez-Alamo

Hatching asynchrony is a reproductive tactic that, through the creation of competitive hierarchies among offspring, allows parents for a quick adjustment of brood size via the death of smaller nestlings. This strategy is considered to be adaptive in case of unpredictable and/or poor environments in which it would guarantee that at least larger nestlings will fledge. Brood reduction is the usual outcome in asynchronously hatched broods since first-hatched nestlings are larger and get a disproportionately larger share of the food delivered by parents, often leading the youngest nestling to starve to death soon after hatching. However, we still do not know the proximate mechanisms of such brood reduction. One possibility is that the smallest nestling is not fed because larger nestlings outcompete it, which implies that nestlings control resource allocation. Alternatively, parents might actively ignore the persistent begging from their smallest nestling, which would involve that parents control food allocation. To determine whether parents or nestlings ultimately induce brood reduction in this situation, we experimentally created asynchronous broods of Eurasian blackbird (Turdus merula) nestlings and quantified food allocation by parents in two different situations: when sibling competition was allowed and, alternatively, when competition was prevented by physically separating nestlings within the nests by using wooden barriers. Our results showed that experimentally introduced smaller nestlings received less food than their larger nestmates both when competition among nestlings was allowed and when it was prevented. When adult males and females are considered separately, males fed the smallest nestling less often regardless of whether sibling competition was allowed or not, but adult females showed no differences. We can conclude that the smallest nestling starves mainly because parents actively ignore its begging. The higher competitive ability of the larger nestlings seem to have little effect given that although the smallest nestling is fed at a higher rate when physical interactions are prevented by the wooden barrier than when not, this difference is not significant. These findings suggest that parents rather than nestlings have the main control over food allocation.

1652: Comparing utility functions between risky and riskless choice in rhesus monkeys
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Posted 14 Jan 2021

Comparing utility functions between risky and riskless choice in rhesus monkeys
100 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

Philipe M. Bujold, Simone Ferrari-Toniolo, Leo Chi U Seak, Wolfram Schultz

Decisions can be risky or riskless, depending on the outcomes of the choice. Expected Utility Theory describes risky choices as a utility maximization process: we choose the option with the highest utility, which we compute considering both the value of the option and its associated risk. According to the random utility maximization framework, riskless choices could also be based on a utility measure. Neuronal mechanisms of utility-based choice may thus be common to both risky and riskless choices. This assumption would require the existence of a utility function that accounts for both risky and riskless decisions. Here, we investigated whether the choice behavior of macaque monkeys in riskless and risky decisions could be described by a common underlying utility function. We found that the utility functions elicited in the two choice scenarios were different from each other, even after taking into account the contribution of subjective probability weighting. Our results suggest that distinct utility representations exist for riskless and risky choices, which could reflect distinct neuronal representations of the utility quantities, or distinct brain mechanisms for risky and riskless choices. The different utility functions should be taken into account in neuronal investigations of utility-based choice.

1653: Nectar non-protein amino acids (NPAAs) do not change nectar palatability but enhance learning and memory in honey bees
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Posted 04 Dec 2020

Nectar non-protein amino acids (NPAAs) do not change nectar palatability but enhance learning and memory in honey bees
100 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

Daniele Carlesso, Stefania Smargiassi, Elisa Pasquini, Giacomo Bertelli, David Baracchi

Floral nectar is a pivotal element of the intimate relationship between plants and pollinators and its chemical composition is likely to have been shaped by strong selective pressures. Nectars are composed of a plethora of nutritionally valuable compounds but also hundreds of secondary metabolites (SMs) devoid of any nutritional value whose ecological role is still not completely understood. Here we performed a set of behavioural experiments to study whether five ubiquitous nectar non-protein amino acids (NPAAs: {beta}-alanine, GABA, citrulline, ornithine and taurine) interact with gustation, feeding preference, and learning and memory in the pollinator Apis mellifera. We showed that harnessed foragers were unable to discriminate NPAAs from water when only accessing antennal chemo-tactile information and that freely moving bees did not exhibit innate feeding preferences for NPAA-laced sucrose solutions. Also, dietary consumption of NPAAs did not alter food consumption or longevity in caged bees over 10 days. Taken together our data suggest that ecologically relevant concentrations of NPAAs did not alter nectar palatability to bees. Olfactory conditioning assays showed that honey bees were more likely to learn a scent when it signalled a sucrose reward containing either {beta}-alanine or GABA, and that GABA also enhanced specific memory retention. Conversely, when ingested two hours prior to conditioning, GABA, {beta}-alanine, and taurine weakened bees' acquisition performances but not specific memory retention, which was enhanced in the case of {beta}-alanine and taurine. Neither citrulline nor ornithine affected learning and memory. Our study suggests that NPAAs in nectars may represent a cooperative strategy adopted by plants to attract beneficial pollinators, while simultaneously enhancing nectar transfer among conspecific flowers. Future work should validate these results in more ecological scenarios and extend the study to as many nectar SMs as possible, alone and in combination, as well as to other species of pollinators.

1654: Sex differences in learning from exploration
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Posted 29 Dec 2020

Sex differences in learning from exploration
100 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

Cathy S Chen, Evan Knep, Autumn Han, R Becket Ebitz, Nicola M Grissom

Sex differences in cognitive processes could set the stage for sex-modulated vulnerability to neuropsychiatric disorders. While value-based decision making processes in particular have been proposed to be influenced by sex differences, the overall correct performance across sexes often show minimal differences. Computational tools allow us to uncover latent variables in reinforcement learning that define different decision making approaches, even in animals with similar correct performance. Here, we quantify sex differences in latent variables underlying behavior in a classic value-based decision-making task: a restless 2-armed bandit. While males and females had similar accuracy, they achieved this performance via different patterns of exploration. Males made more exploratory choices overall, largely because they appeared to get stuck in exploration once they had started. Females explored less, but learned more quickly when they did so. Together, these results suggest that sex exerts stronger influences on learning and decision making during periods of self-initiated exploration than during stable choices. These findings pinpoint the neural mechanisms of exploration as potentially conferring sex-biased vulnerability to addictions, neurodevelopmental disabilities, and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

1655: The defensive behavior of Indiana mite biting honeybees against Varroa destructor and the structure of mandibles
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Posted 08 Dec 2020

The defensive behavior of Indiana mite biting honeybees against Varroa destructor and the structure of mandibles
99 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

Jada Smith, Xaryn L Cleare, Krispn Given, Hongmei Li-Byarlay

The honeybees (Apis mellifera) are the most important managed pollinator for sustainable agriculture and our ecosystem. However, the managed honeybee colonies in the United States experience 30-40% of losses annually. Among all the biotic stressors, the parasitic mite Varroa destructor is considered as one of the main pests for colony losses. The mite biting behavior as a Varroa tolerant or resistant trait has been selected in the State of Indiana for a decade. A survey of damaged mites from the bottom of a colony can be used as an extended phenotype of the mite biting behavior to evaluate a colony. On average 37% of mites sampled were damaged or mutilated from the breeding stocks of 59 colonies of mite biters of Indiana, which is significantly higher than 19% of damaged mites in commercial colonies from the Southern United States. No significant difference was detected between the damage of missing legs between breeding stocks and commercial colonies. In addition, the morphology of pollen forager worker mandibles were compared between two populations via X-ray micro-computed tomography using six parameters, and the difference was detected in one parameter. Our results showed the novel scientific evidence to explain the potential defensive mechanism against Varroa mites via mandibles providing a significant knowledge of a defensive behavioral trait for mite resistance.

1656: Amplification of frog calls by leaf substrates: implications for terrestrial and arboreal species
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Posted 03 Nov 2020

Amplification of frog calls by leaf substrates: implications for terrestrial and arboreal species
99 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

Matias I Munoz, Wouter Halfwerk

Signal detection is a minimum requirement for any communicative interaction. Acoustic signals, however, often experience amplitude losses during their transmission through the environment, reducing their detection range. Displaying from sites that increase the amplitude of the sound produced, such as cavities or some reflective surfaces, can improve the detectability of signals by distant receivers. Understanding how display sites influence sound production is, however, far from understood. We measured the effect of leaf calling sites on the calls of an arboreal (Hyalinobatrachium fleischmanni) and a leaf-litter specialist (Silverstoneia flotator) frog species. We collected the leaves where males of both species were observed calling, and conducted playback experiments to measure their effect on the amplitude of frog calls. Overall, the leaves used by H. fleischmanni and S. flotator were of similar dimensions, and amplified the calls of each species by about 5.0 and 2.5 dB, respectively. The degree of call amplification was unrelated to leaf dimensions or the position of the frogs on the leaves, but explained by the different frequency content of the calls of each species. Depending on the spatial location of intended and unintended receivers, we suggest that amplification of frog calls by leaves could represent either a benefit or impose costs for arboreal and terrestrial species. We argue that the microhabitat of the substrate from which animals display needs to be considered when addressing signal evolution. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

1657: Impact of the expectation on memory reconsolidation using a post retrieval extinction paradigm
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Posted 26 Oct 2020

Impact of the expectation on memory reconsolidation using a post retrieval extinction paradigm
98 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

Julia Marinos, Andrea Ashbaugh

Objective: The present study examined if the expectation for learning enhances reconsolidation of conditioned fear memories using the post-retrieval extinction paradigm in an undergraduate sample (n = 48). Methods: The study took place over three consecutive days. The expectation for learning was manipulated through oral instructions prior to memory reactivation. On day one, participants underwent differential fear conditioning to two spider images (CS+ and CS-). On day two, participants were assigned to either a reactivation with expectation for learning group, a reactivation with no expectation for learning group, or a no reactivation group. On day three, return of fear in response to the CS+ spider image was measured following reinstatement (i.e., four shocks). Fear potentiated startle (FPS) and skin conductance response (SCR) were taken as measures of fear. Results: The study found evidence that the expectation for learning may enhanced reconsolidation with FPS as a measure of fear as it was only the expectation for learning group in which FPS to the CS+ remained stable following reinstatement, however this effect was small and non-robust. In contrast, no evidence of reconsolidation was observed for SCR, as all participants exhibited a return of fear following reinstatement. Implications: These findings suggest that a verbal manipulation of the expectation for learning may not be salient enough to induce reconsolidation as measured by SCR but may be sufficient as measured by FPS. Additionally, given in the inconsistent findings between SCR and FPS, the study’s results bring into question whether the post-retrieval extinction paradigm is appropriate to investigate reconsolidation using both physiological measures concurrently.

1658: Descending and ascending signals that maintain rhythmic walking pattern in the cricket
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Posted 03 Nov 2020

Descending and ascending signals that maintain rhythmic walking pattern in the cricket
98 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

Keisuke Naniwa, Hitoshi Aonuma

The cricket is one of the model animals used to investigate the neuronal mechanisms underlying adaptive locomotion. An intact cricket walks with a tripod gait, similar to other insects. The motor control center of the leg movements is located in the thoracic ganglia. In this study, we investigated the walking gait patterns of crickets whose ventral nerve cords were surgically cut to gain an understanding of how the descending signals from the head ganglia and ascending signals from the abdominal nervous system into the thoracic ganglia mediate the initiation and coordination of the walking gait pattern. Crickets whose paired connectives between the brain and subesophageal ganglion (SEG) were cut exhibited a tripod gait pattern. However, when one side of the connectives between the brain and SEG was cut, the crickets continued to turn in the opposite direction to the connective cut. Crickets whose paired connectives between the SEG and prothoracic ganglion were cut did not walk, whereas the crickets exhibited an ordinal tripod gait pattern when one side of the connectives was intact. Crickets whose paired connectives between the metathoracic ganglion and abdominal ganglia were cut initiated walking, although the gait was not a coordinated tripod pattern, whereas the crickets exhibited a tripod gait when one side of the connectives was intact. These results suggest that the brain plays an inhibitory role in initiating leg movements, and that both the descending signals from the head ganglia and the ascending signals from the abdominal nervous system are both important in initiating and coordinating insect walking gait patterns. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

1659: Therapeutic doses of paracetamol with co-administration of cysteine and mannitol during early development result in long term behavioral changes in laboratory rats.
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Posted 31 Oct 2020

Therapeutic doses of paracetamol with co-administration of cysteine and mannitol during early development result in long term behavioral changes in laboratory rats.
97 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

Navneet Suda, Jasmine Cendejas-Hernandez, John Poulton, John P Jones, Zacharoula Konsoula, Caroline Smith, William Parker

Based on several lines of evidence, numerous investigators have suggested that paracetamol exposure during early development can induce neurological disorders. We had previously postulated that paracetamol exposure early in life, if combined with antioxidants that prevent accumulation of NAPQI, the toxic metabolite of paracetamol, might be innocuous. In this study, we administered paracetamol at or below the currently recommended therapeutic dose to male laboratory rat pups aged 4-10 days. The antioxidants cysteine and mannitol were included to prevent accumulation of NAPQI. In addition, animals were exposed to a cassette of common stress factors: an inflammatory diet, psychological stress, antibiotics, and mock infections using killed bacteria. At age 37-49 days, observation during introduction to a novel conspecific revealed increased rearing behavior, an asocial behavior, in animals treated with paracetamol plus antioxidants, regardless of their exposure to oxidative stress factors (2-way ANOVA; P < 0.0001). This observation would suggest that the initial hypothesis is incorrect, and that oxidative stress mediators do not entirely eliminate the effects of paracetamol on neurodevelopment. This study provides additional cause for caution when considering the use of paracetamol in the pediatric population, and provides evidence that the effects of paracetamol on neurodevelopment need to be considered both in the presence and in the absence of oxidative stress. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

1660: Brain transcriptomic changes in Japanese quail reveal roles for neurotensin and urocortin 3 in avian parental care
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Posted 29 Nov 2020

Brain transcriptomic changes in Japanese quail reveal roles for neurotensin and urocortin 3 in avian parental care
96 downloads bioRxiv animal behavior and cognition

Patricia C. Lopes, Robert de Bruijn

For many species, parental care critically affects offspring survival. But what drives animals to display parental behaviours towards young? In mammals, pregnancy-induced physiological transformations seem key in preparing the neural circuits that lead towards attraction (and reduced-aggression) to young. Beyond mammalian maternal behaviour, knowledge of the neural mechanisms that underlie parental care is severely lacking. We took advantage of a domesticated bird species, the Japanese quail, for which parental behaviour towards chicks can be induced through a sensitization procedure, a process that is not effective in all animals. We used the variation in parental responses to study neural transcriptomic changes associated with the sensitization procedure itself and with the outcome of the procedure (i.e., presence of parental behaviours). Out of the brain regions studied, we found that most differences in gene expression were located in the hypothalamus. Two genes identified are of particular interest, as no role in avian parental care was known for those genes. One is neurotensin, previously only demonstrated to be causally associated with maternal care in mammals. The other one is urocortin 3, causally demonstrated to affect young-directed neglect and aggression in mammals. Our work opens new avenues of research into understanding the neural basis of parental care in non-placental species.

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