Individual differences in learning speed, performance accuracy and exploratory behaviour in black-capped chickadees

Lauren M. Guillette, Allison Hahn, Marisa Höschele, Ann-Marie Przyslupski, Christopher Sturdy

Veröffentlichungen: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftArtikelPeer Reviewed

Abstract

Cognitive processes are important to animals because they not only influence how animals acquire, store and recall information, but also may underpin behaviours such as deciding where to look for food, build a nest, or with whom to mate. Several recent studies have begun to examine the potential interaction between variation in cognition and variation in personality traits. One hypothesis proposed that there is a speed–accuracy trade-off in cognition ability that aligns with a fast–slow behaviour type. Here, we explicitly examined this hypothesis by testing wild-caught black-capped chickadees in a series of cognitive tasks that assessed both learning speed (the number of trials taken to learn) and accuracy (post-acquisition performance when tested with un-trained exemplars). Chickadees’ exploration scores were measured in a novel environment task. We found that slow-exploring chickadees demonstrated higher accuracy during the test phase, but did not learn the initial task in fewer trials compared to fast-exploring chickadees, providing partial support for the proposed link between cognition and personality. We report positive correlations in learning speed between different phases within cognitive tasks, but not between the three cognitive tasks suggesting independence in underlying cognitive processing. We discuss different rule-based strategies that may contribute to differential performance accuracy in cognitive tasks and provide suggestions for future experimentation to examine mechanisms underlying the relationship between cognition and personality.

OriginalspracheEnglisch
Seiten (von - bis)165–178
Seitenumfang14
FachzeitschriftAnimal Cognition
Jahrgang18
Ausgabenummer1
DOIs
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Jan. 2015

ÖFOS 2012

  • 106054 Zoologie
  • 106051 Verhaltensbiologie

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