International journal of comparative psychology / ISCP; sponsored by the International Society for Comparative Psychology and the University of Calabria

Online ISSN: 0889-3667
Publications
Article
Dizocilpine maleate (MK-801) is one of several NMDA receptor antagonists that is widely used to pharmacologically model the symptoms of psychosis and schizophrenia in animals. MK-801 elicits behaviors in adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) that are phenotypically consistent with behaviors observed in humans and rodents exposed to tbhe drug. However, the molecular and cellular processes that mediate the psychotomimetic, cognitive and locomotive behaviors of MK-801 are unclear. We exposed zebrafish larvae to MK-801 to assess their merit as a model organism to elucidate the behavioral effects of NMDA receptor blockade. Zebrafish larvae were acutely immersed in MK-801 to assess the effect on spontaneous swimming. MK-801 caused a time- and dose-dependent increase in larval swim speed, and the peak response (a five-fold increase in swim speed) was evoked by a three h exposure to a 20 uM dose. Zebrafish larvae did not exhibit sensitivity to the locomotor effects of MK-801 until 5 dpf, suggesting a critical role for developmental in sensitivity to the drug. Exposure to the low potency NMDA antagonist, memantine, did not alter the swim speed of zebrafish larvae. Co-immersion in D(1) or D(2) dopamine receptor antagonists did not disrupt the time course or magnitude of the increase in swim speed, suggesting dopaminergic signaling is not required for the locomotor actions of MK-801. Our findings of the behavioral actions of MK-801 in zebrafish larvae are consistent with previous observations in mammals and imply that the physiological, cellular and molecular processes disrupted by MK-801 are conserved in zebrafish larvae. These data suggest that the zebrafish larvae is a valid and useful model to elucidate neurobehavioral aspects of NMDA receptor antagonism and may provide insight to the neurobiology of psychosis and schizophrenia.
 
Article
Zebrafish (Danio rerio) associative responses are useful for pharmaceutical and toxicology screening, behavioral genetics, and discovering neural mechanisms involved in behavioral modulation. In novel environments, zebrafish swim to tank bottoms and dark backgrounds, behaviors attributed to anxiety associated with threat of predation. To examine possible genetic effects of inbreeding and segregation on this behavior, we compared Zebrafish International Resource Center (ZIRC) AB and WIK lines to zebrafish and GloFish® from a pet store (PETCO) in two qualitatively different novel environments: the dive tank and aquatic light/dark plus maze. Behavior was observed in the dive tank for 5 min, immediately followed by 5 min in the light/dark plus maze. Among strains, WIK spent more time in the dive tank top than AB (76 ± 30 vs. 17 ± 11 sec), and AB froze in the plus maze center for longer than PETCO or GloFish® (162 ± 61 vs. 72 ± 29 or 27 ± 27 sec). Further, behavior of zebrafish exposed for 3 min to 25 mg/L nicotine, desipramine, chlordiazepoxide, yohimbine, 100 mg/L citalopram, 0.05% DMSO, or 0.5% ethanol was compared to controls. Approximately 0.1% of drug is available in brain after such exposures. Desipramine or citalopram-exposed fish spent more time in the dive tank top, and both reuptake inhibitors bound to serotonin transporters in zebrafish brain with high affinity (K(i) = 7 ± 5 and 9 ± 5 nM). In the plus maze, chlordiazepoxide, ethanol and DMSO-exposed fish crossed more lines and spent more time in white arms. Neither 25 mg/L nicotine nor yohimbine altered zebrafish behavior in novel environments, but nicotine was anxiolytic at higher doses. Overall, the light/dark plus maze and dive tank are distinct behavioral measures that are sensitive to treatment with anxiolytic compounds, but zebrafish line selection and solvents can influence baseline behavior in these tests.
 
Article
There are two general strategies that may be employed for "doing human factors research with nonhuman animals." First, one may use the methods of traditional human factors investigations to examine the nonhuman animal-to-machine interface. Alternatively, one might use performance by nonhuman animals as a surrogate for or model of performance by a human operator. Each of these approaches is illustrated with data in the present review. Chronic ambient noise was found to have a significant but inconsequential effect on computer-task performance by rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Additional data supported the generality of findings such as these to humans, showing that rhesus monkeys are appropriate models human psychomotor performance. It is argued that ultimately the interface between comparative psychology and technology will depend on the coordinated use of both strategies of investigation.
 
Article
Rats emit aversive taste reactivity (TR) behavior (i.e., gapes) following intraoral delivery of a cocaine-paired taste cue, and greater conditioned aversive TR in well-trained rats predicts greater drug-taking. Here, we used a between-groups design and tracked the development of this conditioned aversive TR behavior on a trial by trial basis in an effort to determine when the change in behavior occurs and at what point individual differences in cue reactivity become predictive of cocaine-seeking and cocaine-taking. The results demonstrate that conditioned aversive TR to a cocaine-predictive flavor cue appears very early in training (i.e., following as few as 1 to 2 taste-drug pairings), stabilizes quickly, and becomes predictive of terminal self-administration within 3 to 4 trials. Indeed, rats exhibiting high conditioned aversive TR to the cocaine-paired cue also exhibited greater goal-directed behavior, were faster to take drug, self-administered more cocaine, and exhibited greater seeking during periods of drug non-availability. High conditioned aversive TR, then, develops quickly and is associated with a greater motivation for drug.
 
Article
Comparative cognition is the field of inquiry concerned with understanding the cognitive abilities and mechanisms that are evident in nonhuman species. Assessments of animal cognition have a long history, but in recent years there has been an explosion of new research topics, and a general broadening of the phylogenetic map of animal cognition. To review the past of comparative cognition, we describe the historical trends. In regards to the present state, we examine current "hot topics" in comparative cognition. Finally, we offer our unique and combined thoughts on the future of the field.
 
Article
Age-matched pairs from 6 young chimpanzees (aged 2–4 yrs) were presented with a wooden tool and a horizontal transparent tube with a food item in the center. Insertion of the tool into the tube was required to obtain the food item. One member of each pair was exposed to a model performing the task successfully. Following acquisition, Ss were tested with more complex versions to evaluate comprehension. Presence of a model influenced acquisition only in 3–4 yr olds. Older Ss learned to solve the task in fewer trials, made fewer errors when faced with tools requiring modification, and improved their performance on the complex tasks with limited practice. Comparisons with human cognitive developmental data and findings on the same task with older apes point to a link between the emergence of imitation, self recognition, and comprehension of the cause-effect relation in this task. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Examined the learning of pine cone (PC) stripping (ST) feeding behavior in 3 groups of black rat pups: (1) 25 pups raised by naive mothers and without exposure either to ST behavior or to partially opened PCs, (2) 25 pups raised by naive mothers and exposed to PCs at different stages of opening but not to ST behavior, and (3) 55 pups raised by mothers experienced in ST and exposed both to the mother exhibiting ST behavior (the stripper mother model) and to opened PCs. After 80 days, no pup in Group 1 had learned to strip PCs, where as 24% of pups in Group 2 could strip PCs. 65.5% of pups in Group 3 had learned to strip PCs after 60–70 days. Results suggest that the presence of a social influence (the stripper mother model) in addition to the open PCs significantly increased the proportion of pups that learned the ST technique. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Two investigations demonstrated that behaviors employed by male rats in exploration influenced the information gained from that exploration. In Exp 1, 16 Ss from either enriched (EC) or impoverished conditions (IC) were chased by a mechanical device after 2 days of exploring an arena with a hidden escape route. Although EC and IC Ss were not differentially stressed by the procedure, behaviors relevant to predicting escape showed EC–IC differences. Exp 2 followed the same procedures as Exp 1, but the 12 Ss were chased after only 3 min of arena experience. As in Exp 1, EC Ss escaped significantly more quickly than IC Ss. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Compared measures of reach efficiency in 8 galagos, 4 left-hand preferent and 4 right-hand preferent Ss, tested in a reach apparatus designed to elicit equal numbers of responses by the left and right hands. The effect of variant or invariant target placement within sessions was also assessed by the use of both blocked and randomized trials. Efficiency was defined in terms of the percentage of successful reaches and the average duration of time required for reach execution. Results indicate that there was no effect of target variance on strength of hand preference or on either measure of performance efficiency. Preferred and nonpreferred hands did not differ with respect to these 2 measures. There was also no difference in the percentage of successful reaches between the left and right hands. However, for 7 of 8 Ss the left hand generated faster reach times than did the right hand, regardless of hand preference. The greater execution speed with the left arm/hand is interpreted as exemplifying a lateralized neural advantage for the execution of ballistic reaching in galago species. It is argued that the highly consistent timing of this prey capture behavior in the galago supports the view that this arm/hand movement is ballistic in type. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Shows that contact with a spider that preys on woodlice (WL) influences the correcting behavior of WL. The test apparatus used was a modification of R. N. Hughes (1967) maze. Hughes proposed that correcting behavior may function to facilitate efficient movement away from unfavorable conditions. In an experimental test, a woodlouse was put in the starting chamber with a predatory spider. In a control test, a woodlouse was put in the starting chamber with either a ball of cotton wool or a fly. There were 100 trials for each of the 3 treatments. Results support Hughes' hypothesis by providing evidence that WL react to the presence of a predator by increasing their rates of alternating turns. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Responds to C. B. Campbell and W. Hodos's (e.g., 1969, 1991) continuing critiques of the field of comparative psychology. This author supports G. Gottlieb's (see record 1988-03514-001) position that anagenesis is still a useful concept to evolution scientists and that anagenetic analysis provides a viable and fruitful approach to theory development in comparative psychology. Anagenesis suggests improvement with evolution and the idea of complexity as an indicator of evolutionary progress. Finally, the article discusses the utility of a modified form of the Scala naturae, namely the concept of integrative levels, by showing how T. C. Schneirla has used this idea as the foundation of his significant theoretical contributions to comparative psychology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Examines whether the presence of language capacities in animals should be considered a pivotal bridge for establishing a continuity between animal and human mind and posits that the methodological and interpretative problems of animal language research (ALR) derive from some key theoretical paradoxes implicit in the premises of the research. The author argues that, based on evolutionary and continuity arguments, ALR has assumed that nonhuman animals may possess some rudiments of human language. In contrast, it is argued that (1) the evolutionary origins of human language do not necessarily require the presence of linguistic capacities in nonhumans, and (2) animal communicative skills could be best understood through the study of their behavioral natural repertoire. The author suggests that the performance of animals in language studies can be an indicator of cognitive abilities but not of linguistic competence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Provides examples of structural and functional laterality in nonhuman species (e.g., rats, birds). Topics discussed include laterality of limb use and cognitive function, dominance vs differential use of the hemispheres, lateralization in individuals and in populations, and factors affecting the development of asymmetry. Laterality in perceptual and cognitive processes may have been an evolutionary antecedent to laterality of limb use in birds and primates. Studies using animals may provide a means to understand the dynamic processes of laterality. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
The comprehension and production of manual pointing and joint visual attention are already well developed when human infants reach their 2nd year. These early developmental milestones mark the infant's transition into accelerated linguistic competence and shared experiences with others. The ability to draw another's attention toward distal objects or events facilitates the development of complex cognitive processes such as language acquisition. A comparative approach allowed the authors to examine the evolution of these phenomena. Of recent interest is whether non-human primates also gesture and manipulate the eye gaze direction of others when communicating. However, all captive apes do not use referential gestures such as pointing, or appear to understand the meaning of shared attention. Those that show evidence of these abilities differ in their expression of them, and this may be closely related to rearing history. This paper reviews the literature on the topic of pointing and joint attention in non-human primates with the goal of identifying why these abilities develop in other species, and to examine the potential sources of the existing individual variation in their expression. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Nine experiments tested the value of postnatal audition of sibling calls. 169 battery-reared chicks were placed in an operant conditioning paradigm in which the instrumental response allowed the birds to receive either auditory, visual, or audiovisual stimuli. Results demonstrate that audition of sibling calls was appetitive but Ss did not evince a clear-cut choice for this stimulus over audition of a pure tone. Ss were tested in a choice situation between 2 audiovisual stimuli. The visual stimulus was the vision of their own image in a mirror. In this choice situation between mirror and call and mirror and tone, Ss did not choose the mirror and call stimulus significantly more. Data support the hypothesis that sibling calls do not play an important role in attraction between brood mates and that the main effect of their audition is an activating one. (French abstract) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
The authors show 4 different ways of using video systems, with pigeons, for research in avian visual cognition: 1) recent developments of high vision TV systems made it possible to use the video system for psychophysical studies. Visual acuity measured with such a video system was comparable to those obtained by more traditional methods; 2) using image processing software, the authors could display unnatural animals, such as chimeras on the TV screen. This article also reports that pigeons did not discriminate partially occluded conspecifics; 3) effects of exposure to visual stimuli upon on-going behavior were examined using suppression and conditioned suppression procedures; and 4) discrimination of moving images, namely 2 words of Japanese Sign Language, are reported. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Discusses the development of biopsychology (BP) from 19th-century animal studies, and the supporters and opponents of the Darwinian theory. The development of the nervous system from coelenterates to worms and insects is examined. Characteristics of the instincts of feeding, reproduction, and self-preservation, are described, with examples of maternal behavior. Distortion of the concept of instinct by religious explanations for instinctual behavior is discussed. Development of psychological activity from reflex through instinct to intellect is described. The practical significance of BP is seen in its application to hunting, animal husbandry, and defense against predators and pests. Observation and experimentation in BP investigations are discussed. The study of conditioned reflexes is seen as inadequate to explain animal behavior and even less applicable to the field of sociology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Examined perception of song syllables taken from natural song sparrow and swamp sparrow songs in 5 different species: Song sparrows ( Melospiza melodia), swamp sparrows ( M. georgiana), zebra finches, canaries, and budgerigars. Ss were trained to discriminate among sparrow song syllables, and median reaction time (RT) matrices reflecting response latencies to detect changes in a repeating background of syllables were generated. There were species differences in the perception of syllables; these differences may be related to basic differences in auditory processes. The present procedures are useful for species specificity in song perception not only across species but also between males and females of the same species. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Two bonobos ( Pan paniscus) and 3 chimpanzees ( P. troglodytes) monitored spatial transpositions, or the simultaneous movement of multiple items in an array, so as to select a specific item from the array. In the initial condition of Exp 1, food reward was hidden beneath 1 of 4 cups, and the apes were required to select the cup containing the reward in order to receive it. In the 2nd condition, the test board on which the cups were located was rotated 180° after placement of the food reward. In the 3rd condition, 2 of the 3 cups switched locations with 1 another after placement of the food reward. All 5 apes performed at very high levels for these conditions. Exp 2 was a computerized simulation of the tasks with the cups in which the apes had to track 1 of 4 simultaneously moving stimuli on a computer monitor. Two of the 3 apes that were tested performed at a very high level for this computerized task. Therefore, members of the genus Pan can perform complex feats of spatial monitoring such as transpositions both in real world contexts and in computerized tests. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Budgerigars were trained with operant conditioning procedures to discriminate among sets of calls from several species in a same–different task. Response latencies from this task were analyzed in several ways, including multidimensional scaling (MDS) and cluster analysis. The pattern of response latencies from Ss reared in a large group of conspecifics was compared to that of Ss reared in acoustic and social isolation. Results show that Ss with previous experience with species-specific vocalizations and isolate-reared Ss who had never heard such sounds could both discriminate among the categories of species-specific vocal signals. However, results from MDS and cluster analysis also show that rearing budgerigars in isolation had subtle effects on the perception of these categories of vocal signals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Humans, pigeons, and monkeys are severely limited in their ability to identify stimuli that vary along a single dimension. Increasing the dimensionality of spatially undifferentiated stimuli improves performance. However, this improvement is trivial compared to that observed when spatially complex stimuli such as pictures are presented. While the number of items that can be held in working memory varies among species, the number of items that can be identified depends more on the characteristics of the stimuli than on the organism making the identification. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Experiment 2: Colors. Pigeons' performance on the habituation and transfer trials of phase I (top) and phase II (bottom). Filled triangles: invariance tests.
Article
Pigeons that had extensive training with an oddity-from-sample discrimination procedure using visual patterns, and were able to transfer their performance to novel patterns, were tested for 3 kinds of pattern recognition invariance. The experiments involved the variables of outline, color, and contrast. Ss' performance was above 90% correct for the outline and color experiments; performance reached 77% for the reversed contrast experiment. In all conditions, significant transfer was obtained. Ss showed that they were capable of invariant shape recognition under all conditions. Results also suggest that pigeons can conceptualize a relational oddity/identity rule. (German abstract) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Examined persistence during extinction of key pecking performance in 12 pigeons ( Columba livia) after training with either a large (15 food pellets) or a small reward magnitude (1 food pellet). Strictly instrumental contingencies were enforced and a single trial per daily session was administered. There were 52 acquisition trials followed by 48 extinction trials. Although extinction started from similar response levels in both groups, the pigeons trained with 15 pellets exhibited significantly slower extinction than those trained with a single pellet. This result is discussed in the context of comparative research on the effects of reward magnitude and schedule on extinction in vertebrates. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Perception of the distance of objects with respect to an observer (egocentric distance) and the perception of the relative distance (depth) between external points is optimized in the pigeon's visual system according to the optical and retinal constraints of the eye. Each of these perceptual capacities is mediated by different binocular mechanisms in the frontal field, both of which appear to be designed for a stationary world. This is evident in the egocentric distance estimation that occurs during the reaching movement when pecking. Stereopsis in the pigeon appears to be more effective for pattern decoding than for absolute spatial perception. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Reviews studies of hand preference in New World primate species recorded during feeding activities, visuospatial reaching, haptic discrimination, tool use and in other routine tasks. Of the New World species tested so far, the common marmoset and squirrel monkeys appear to be the only species that display a symmetrical distribution of hand preferences. It appears that only the spider monkey ( Ateles geoffroyi), displays left handedness during feeding, while other species are right handed or have no handedness. Thus, the findings for hand use in feeding do not support a Postural Origins hypothesis as it predicts left handedness rather than right in the arboreal platyrrhine species. Overall, the reports of handedness for tasks requiring complex visuospatial or tactile processing in the New World primates concur with those reported for humans, who have left handedness in haptic discrimination and complex visuospatial tasks and right handedness for manipulative tasks. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Conducted 2 experiments that examined the behavioral significance of tactile and motion sensitive cells in the superior temporal sulcus (STS) of the macaque brain. In the awake, behaving monkey, the critical dimension for polymodal coding was whether or not the sensations were expected. Tactile stimulation out of sight could not be predicted and elicited neuronal responses. By contrast, when the monkey could see and, therefore, predict impending contact, or when the monkey touched a familiar surface in a predictable location, cell responses were reduced or abolished. In an analogous way some cells were unresponsive to the sight of the monkey's own limbs moving, but responded to the sight of other moving stimuli. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Factor analysis has commonly been used to infer the dimensions of animal temperament. However, the results were often complicated by large number of broad and situation-specific factors caused by low psychometric adequacy of the correlation matrices, undermining the assumptions of factor analysis. In this study I reanalyzed the data sets obtained by Royce, Poley & Yeudall (1973) and Gervai & Csányi (1985) including, however, only the variables with high correlations (multiple R2>0.3) and psychometric adequacies (Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin measure>0.5). This yielded more stable and simpler factor solutions than in the original studies. Specifically, even though the present reanalysis cannot rule out the existence of other temperament factors, it indicates that two general dimensions, Activity-Exploration and Fear-Avoidance, are present in such diverse species as mice and the paradise fish.
 
Article
This is an obituary for Ethel Tobach, founder of this journal and of the International Society for Comparative Psychology.
 
Article
This special issue is dedicated to Dr. Duane Rumbaugh. Leaving a lasting legacy in the field of comparative psychology, Dr. Rumbaugh helped to pave the way for cognitive and behavioral research with primates. This special issue is comprised of a set of papers that both commerate and illuminate his contributions. Written by former students and colleagues, this collection of papers highlights his substantial influence on the development of primatology.
 
Article
This paper is an introduction to the first part of a double special issue inspired by the work of and dedicated to Dr. Stan Kuczaj, who passed away in April 2016. The introduction reflects the contents of the first part of the special issue, which included a number of different species, research designs, and questions. Comments regarding Stan's influence on each contributer are also shared.
 
Article
The Keynote Speaker at Winter Conference on Animal Learning and Behavior (WCALB) 2014 was Dr. Björn Brembs whose address was titled, Pavlovian and Skinnerian Processes Are Genetically Separable. The essence of the address, that describes the research on which Dr. Brembs based this conclusion, is described below. Articles in this issue representing the related Focus Session include: The Many Faces of Pavlovian Conditioning by Dr. Jozefowiez, Pavlov + Skinner = Premack by Dr. Killeen, Evocation of Behavioral Change by the Reinforcer is the Critical Event in Both the Classical and Operant Procedures by Dr. Donahoe, On Choice and the Law of Effect by Dr. Staddon, Response-Outcome versus Outcome-Response Associations in Pavlovian-to-Instrumental Transfer: Effects of Instrumental Training Context by Gilroy, Everett and Delamater, and The Instrumentally-Derived Incentive-Motivational Function by Dr. Weiss. As a whole, they attempt to increase our contact with, and get at the essence of, what is actually happening with these operant and classical contingencies in the laboratory and nature. The Research Seminar Session revealed the current tendency for explanations of behavior to be reduced to physiology, neuroscience, and genetics. However, anti-reductionists saw shortcomings in this approach. They recommended an interconnected holistic approach which shifts the focus away from the structure of discrete behaviors and toward examining the environment in which the behavior occurs and the consequences produced. The distinction between structural and functional analysis points to a difficulty of integrating facts about behavior with other levels of analysis that requires our attention.
 
Article
The past decade has witnessed remarkable advancements in 3D printing or more scientifically called as additive manufacturing. Surprisingly, few comparative psychologists have taken advantage of 3D printing in the design of apparatus. Our paper discusses the advantages of 3D printing, the type of 3D printers (printing technologies) we have found most useful for various applications, offers practical suggestions on how engineers and comparative psychologists can communicate with each other on apparatus design issues and discuss how apparatus design with 3D printing can increase student interest in the STEM field. We first document that comparative/experimental psychologists seldom use 3D printer technology and then offer recommendations on how to increase the use of such technology in the behavioral sciences.
 
Article
We tested the ability of a beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) to imitate sounds presented to it. During the training session, we presented the subject three recorded sounds that were emitted by the subject, and the subject was trained to imitate them. The subject learned to correctly imitate the sounds. During the test session, two novel computer-generated artificial sounds were presented through an audio speaker. In addition, nine arbitrary vocal sounds produced by the experimenter were presented to the subject, and the subject was required to imitate them. Seven persons, who were not involved in the experiment, were presented the sample sounds and imitated calls; subsequently, they judged whether both sounds were similar to each other. In addition, sound spectrums of the sample sounds and imitated calls were analyzed. As a result, some components of the sound spectrums were similar, and most of imitated calls possess spectral features similar to the sample sounds. These results demonstrated that the beluga was able to correctly imitate novel sounds and spontaneously displayed aptitude for imitation.
 
An example of neural networks represented as five steps of respondent conditioning. What is shown here is the first layer of a single respondently-based neural network. The neural network may only pay attention to one of the sensory inputs that are shown. It will give precedence to the signal or input with the larger relative reinforcement rate.
Five Steps of Respondent Conditioning
Article
Neural Networks may be made much faster and more efficient by reducing the amount of memory and computation used. In this paper, a new type of neural network called an Adaptive Neural Network is introduced. The proposed neural network is comprised of five unique pairings of events. Each pairing is a module and the modules are connected within a single neural network. The pairings are a simulation of respondent conditioning. The simulations do not necessarily represent conditioning in actual organisms. In the theory presented here, the pairings in respondent conditioning become aggregated together to form a basis for operant conditioning. The specific pairings are as follows. The first pairing is between the reinforcer and the neural stimulus that elicits the behavior. This pairing strengthens and makes salient that eliciting neural stimulus. The second pairing is that of the now salient neural stimulus with the external environmental stimulus that precedes the operant behavior. The third is the pairing of the environmental stimulus event with the reinforcing stimulus. The fourth is the pairing of the stimulus elicited by the drive with the reinforcement event, changing the strength of the reinforcer. The fifth pairing is that after repeated exposure the external environmental stimulus is paired with the drive stimulus. This drive stimulus is generated by an intensifying drive. Within each module, a “0” means no occurrence of a pairing A of Stimuli A and a “1” means an occurrence of a pairing A of Stimuli A. Similarly, a “0” means no occurrence of a pairing Band a “1” means an occurrence of a pairing B, and so on for all 5 pairings. To obtain an output one multiplies the values of pairings through E. In one trial or instance, all 5 pairings will occur. The results of the multiplications are then accumulated and divided by the number of instances. The use of these simple respondent pairings as a basis for neural networks reduces errors. Examples of problems that may be addressable by such networks are included.
 
Article
Play fighting in many species involves partners competing to bite one another while avoiding being bitten. Species can differ in the body targets that are bitten and the tactics used to attack and defend those targets. However, even closely related species that attack and defend the same body target using the same tactics can differ markedly in how much the competitiveness of such interactions is mitigated by cooperation. A degree of cooperation is necessary to ensure that some turn-taking between the roles of attacker and defender occurs, as this is critical in preventing play fighting from escalating into serious fighting. In the present study, the dyadic play fighting of captive troops of 4 closely related species of Old World monkeys, 2 each from 2 genera of Papio and Mandrillus, was analyzed. All 4 species have a comparable social organization, are large bodied with considerable sexual dimorphism, and are mostly terrestrial. In all species, the target of biting is the same – the area encompassing the upper arm, shoulder, and side of the neck – and they have the same tactics of attack and defense. However, the Papio species exhibit more cooperation in their play than do the Mandrillus species, with the former using tactics that make biting easier to attain and that facilitate close bodily contact. It is possible that species differences in how rigidly dominance relationships are maintained are expressed in the play of juveniles by altering the balance between competition and cooperation.
 
Search time for small, but not large, flowers depends on illumination intensity. Individual bumblebees were tested three times at each light condition in a random order in a flight arena. Search time (±SD; N = 5 bees) was measured at four different light intensities. Squares, 8 mm flower diameter; Circles, 15 mm flower diameter; triangles, 28 mm flower diameter.
Search time is negatively correlated with floral color contrast against background (r s =0.83; N = 6; p < 0.05). Color loci of artificial flowers and a green background were plotted in a bumblebee chromaticity diagram to calculate flower-background color distance (for full details see Spaethe et al. 2001). Search time (±SD) was measured as the time elapsed from entering the arena to landing on the 3 rd chip, excluding time spent on flowers. Three artificial flowers (Ø = 28 mm) were placed in a flight arena at random positions similar to the experiments of Figures 1 and 2.
Search times and error rates of honeybees searching for a target depend on the number simultaneously presented distractors. Bees were trained to enter an experimental box (0.43 m · 0.43 m· 0.3 m) by passing a small hole and fly to a colored circular target on a green back wall of the box to receive a sucrose reward. After each foraging bout the target was randomly mounted at one of 16 (4 x 4) possible positions at the back wall. During experiments the rewarded target was presented together with non-rewarding distractors of the same size but different colors. When bees searched for a blue target, a varied number (0, 1, 3, 8 or 15) of yellow distractors were offered, and when they searched for a yellow target, the distractors were either blue in one experiment or of mixed colors in a second experiment. Each bee was filmed by a digital camera from above and bees' accuracy as well as flight time between entering the box and approaching the target or distractor was recorded (±SE; N = 5) (for more details see Spaethe et al. 2006).
Error rate varies with target position. Targets and distractors were arranged to appear in the dorsal, lateral, central or ventral portions of the visual field (insets). Error rate (±SE; N=5) was measured as the proportion of flights to target that crossed a criterion decision line 5 cm from the target array.
Article
An insect searching a meadow for flowers may detect several flowers from different species per sec-ond, so the task of choosing the right flowers rapidly is not trivial. Here we apply concepts from the field of visual search in human experimental psychology to the task a bee faces in searching a meadow for familiar flowers, and avoiding ''distraction'' by unknown or unrewarding flowers. Our approach highlights the importance of visual information processing for understanding the behavioral ecology of foraging. Intensity of illuminating light, target contrast with background (both chromatic and achromatic), and number of distractors are all shown to have a direct influence on decision times in behavioral choice experiments. To a considerable extent, the observed search behavior can be ex-plained by the temporal and spatial properties of neuronal circuits underlying visual object detection. Our results also emphasize the importance of the time dimension in decision making. During visual search in humans, improved accuracy in solving discrimination tasks comes at a cost in response time, but the vast majority of studies on decision making in animals have focused on choice accuracy, not speed. We show that in behavioral choice experiments in bees, there is a tight link between the two. We demonstrate both between-individual and within-individual speed-accuracy tradeoffs, whereby bees exhibit considerable behavioral flexibility in solving visual search tasks. Motivation is an important factor in selection of behavioral strategies for a search task, and sensory discrimination capabilities may be underestimated by studies that quantify accuracy of behavioral choice but neglect the temporal dimension. To someone studying social insects, vertebrate behavior is sometimes sur-prisingly dull. Among the social insects, such as termites, ants, bees and wasps, we find agriculture, slavery, territorial wars, castes, division of labor, consensus build-ing, a symbolic language, and teeming cities with fantastic architecture (Frisch, 1967; Hölldobler & Wilson, 1990; Seeley, 1995). The cognitive capacities of so-cial insects are likewise impressive. Bees, in particular, have recently revealed a number of abilities traditionally only attributed to a few higher vertebrates (e.g. pigeons, dolphins, primates), such as sequence learning, object categorization, concept formation, and a simple form of counting (Chittka & Geiger, 1995; Col-lett, Fry, & Wehner, 1993; Giurfa, 2003; Menzel, 2001; Srinivasan, Zhang, & Rolfe, 1993). All of this, of course, was in place millions of years before humans graced the planet. This is all the more remarkable given that a bee's nervous sys-tem contains less than a million neurons (Giurfa, 2003), or only 0.001% of the number of neurons that the human brain possesses.
 
Linear regressions of acoustic parameters of calf's click trains: A: click rate, and B: mean duration of click.
Article
Exploratory behaviour includes all the actions that an animal performs to obtain information about a new object, environment or individual through using its different senses of perception. Here, we studied the development of the exploratory behaviour of a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) calf aged from 39 to 169 days, by investigating its acoustic productions in relation to an immerged object handled by a familiar human without isolation from its original social group. The study was conducted between July 2015 and January 2016 at Parc Asterix dolphinarium (Plailly, France). Simultaneous audio and video recordings were collected using a waterproof 360° audio-video system named BaBeL which allows localization of the dolphin that is producing sounds. During 32 recordings sessions, for a total duration of 6 hours 55 minutes of audio-video recordings, 46 click trains were attached to individual dolphins: 18 times to the calf, 11 times to its mother and 17 times to another dolphin in the pool. When comparing the calf’s acoustical production to its mother’s, no significant differences were found in their click rate, mean click duration, or mean interclick interval (ICI). However, linear regression showed that calf’s click rate increased with age and mean ICI decreased with age, probably due to an increase in its arousal. This non-intrusive methodology allows the description and analysis of acoustic signal parameters and acoustic exploratory behaviour of a dolphin calf within its social group.
 
Article
The history of psychology is fascinating, and replete with important content for students to learn. The scholars and events that highlight the history of comparative psychology is no less compelling. However, there are many challenges in teaching the field’s history in a way that is engaging, inclusive, and comprehensive. One strategy for addressing these issues is to develop and employ a library of student-generated electronic tutorials that allow the introduction of under-represented groups and under-discussed contributors. In the present paper, we report the effectiveness of this strategy compared to several other class activities. Learning-outcome and student-evaluation data indicate that information introduced exclusively in these “Ten Minute of History” e-tutorials and academic ancestry presentations is learned to degrees at least comparable to those topics and contributors discussed in traditional lectures and readings. Without contending that these instructional activities are either particularly novel or uniquely suited to this particular course, the data reported here are encouraging for instructors who are facing obstacles to active learning and student engagement in a stand-alone course on psychology’s history broadly, or comparative psychology more specifically.
 
Article
Practitioners of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) use it to help individuals suffering from a wide range of physical and psychological disorders as an alternative practice in physical and psychotherapy. Although there is plenty of research to support the benefits of these therapies, there is little research in equine behavior in this context, specifically how equine behaviors can best be utilized to improve the health of the human component. Although much of EAAT uses horses in physical therapy, newer practices in EAAT focus on assisting individuals in building and improving interpersonal skills through practicing those skills with horses. To fully understand and develop this area of EAAT, researchers need to look at the behavioral patterns of horses, how they learn and adapt to changes in human emotions and behaviors, and how these behaviors correspond to bonding with regards to friendships and relationships within the context of equine-human interactions. To do this, scientists need to rely upon the principles of learning theory and behavioral sciences associated with comparative psychology. The scientific methods used in comparative psychology are critical for researching these areas of EAAT.
 
Article
Since the mid-1990s, the Laboratory of Comparative Psychology and Behavioral Biology at Oklahoma State University has developed a number of exercises appropriate for classroom use to demonstrate principles of learning and other forms of behavior. These activities have primarily focused on the use of invertebrates such as planarians, houseflies, earthworms, and honey bees. We have also developed exercises using fish based on an inexpensive apparatus called the “Fish Stick.” Other exercises to be discussed are “Salivary Conditioning in Humans;” “Project “Petscope” which turns local pet stores into animal behavior research centers; “Prey Preferences in Snakes”; and “Correspondence in the Classroom” which helps students learn to write letters to scientists in the field of learning research. These various teaching activities are summarized, and the advantages and limitations are discussed. Additional material developed since 2011 is included. This material includes a low cost microcontroller, history of comparative psychology projects, and additional animal exercises.
 
Article
In the Bahamas, interspecific groups of Atlantic spotted dolphins, Stenella frontalis, and bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, have been observed underwater since 1985 on Little Bahama Bank. Mixed-species groups engage in associative behaviors and aggression on a regular basis. Because of their complex cognitive behaviors and large brain encephalization, dolphins are likely capable of complex social interactions, even between species.Between 1993-2003, 177 Mixed-Species Encounters (MSE) were categorized by the age class of male spotted dolphins, the ratio of spotted dolphins to bottlenose dolphins, behavior as Associative (traveling, babysitting, play) or Aggressive (chases, mounting, head to heads) and by directionality of sexual behavior. The majority (68%) of MSE involved adult spotted dolphin. Associative behaviors were observed more than aggressive behaviors in groups where no adult male spotted dolphin, only male calves, or male juvenile spotted dolphins were present. Aggressive behaviors were observed more frequently than associative behaviors in adult male spotted dolphin groups. When groups were unbalanced in favor of one species or the other, differences in social interactions occurred. Male spotted dolphins were never observed attempting to mount male bottlenose dolphin although they chased them. Despite the larger ratio of male spotted dolphins to bottlenose dolphins during MSE, directionality of male-to-male sexual contact was primarily one-way. Male bottlenose dolphin mounted and copulated with male spotted dolphins but not the reverse. Opportunities for cross-species mating and hybridization clearly occurred. Male bottlenose dolphins copulated with female spotted dolphins and male spotted dolphins copulated with female bottlenose dolphins. These sympatric dolphins in the Bahamas have a complex and dynamic relationship that varies with sex and age and revolves around potential reproductive isolation issues.
 
Article
This review focuses on reward-schedule effects, a family of learning phenomena involving surprising devaluations in reward quality or quantity (as in incentive contrast), and reward omissions (as in appetitive extinction), as studied in three taxonomic groups of vertebrates: mammals, birds, and amphibians. The largest database of dependable data comes from research with mammals in general, and with rats in particular. These experiments show a variety of behavioral adjustments to situations involving reward downshifts. For example, rats show disruption of instrumental and consummatory behavior directed at a small reward after receiving a substantially larger reward (called successive negative contrast, SNC)—a reward-schedule effect. However, instrumental SNC does not seem to occur when animals work for sucrose solutions—a reversed reward-schedule effect. Similar modes of adjustment have been reported in analogous experiments with avian and amphibian species. A review of the evidence suggests that carry-over signals across successive trials can acquire control over behavior under massed practice, but emotional memory is required to account for reward-schedule effects observed under widely spaced practice. There is evidence for an emotional component to reward-schedule effects in mammals, but similar evidence for other vertebrates is scanty and inconsistent. Progress in the comparative analysis of reward-schedule effects will require the intense study of a set of selected species, in selected reward-downshift situations, and aiming at identifying underlying neural mechanisms.
 
Article
Rats reared with playful peers during the juvenile period have a modified prefrontal cortex and improved executive functions, whereas ones reared with less playful partners, such as an adult, do not. It has been hypothesized that peer-peer play fighting creates unique experiences that tax executive functions and so influence the refinement of the prefrontal cortex. The present study compares the rough-and-tumble play of juveniles interacting with another peer with that of juveniles interacting with an adult. The juveniles interacting with adults engage in as much play as those that interact with juveniles. However, they experience fewer attacks from their adult partners and experience fewer bouts of close-quarter wrestling. Moreover, the juveniles in these juvenile-adult pairs experience fewer opportunities to perform role reversals in which the attacker becomes the defender. These findings support the hypothesis that the turn taking typical of the play fighting with peers is critical for the development of executive functions.
 
Top-cited authors
Stan Kuczaj
  • University of Southern Mississippi
Marie Trone
  • Valencia College
Andrew J Wright
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Dartmouth, Canada
David Echevarria
  • William Carey University
Colin S Cunningham
  • University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio