Neeltje J. Boogert

Neeltje J. Boogert
University of St Andrews · School of Psychology and Neuroscience

About

92
Publications
23,601
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
3,484
Citations

Publications

Publications (92)
Article
Full-text available
Rapid population growth and the urbanization of modern environments are markedly increasing human-wildlife conflict. Wild animals in urban landscapes can benefit from exploiting human resources, but are also exposed to increased risk of human-caused injury, which should favor the ability to perceive and respond to human cues. Although it is well kn...
Article
Animals can gain large benefits from living in groups but must coordinate with their groupmates in order to do so. Social interactions between groupmates drive overall group coordination and are influenced by the characteristics of individual group members. In particular, consistent inter-individual differences in behaviour (e.g. boldness) and fami...
Article
Full-text available
Foraging plays a vital role in animal life histories, and learning whether unfamiliar food items are palatable is a key part of this process. Animals that engage in extractive foraging must also learn how to overcome the protective measures of their prey. While otters (subfamily Lutrinae) are a taxon known for their extractive foraging behaviour, h...
Article
Full-text available
Consistent individual differences in behaviour across time or contexts (i.e. personality types) have been found in many species and have implications for fitness. Likewise, individual variation in cognitive abilities has been shown to impact fitness. Cognition and personality are complex, multidimensional traits. However, previous work has generall...
Article
In the early morning, large groups of up to hundreds or even thousands of roosting birds, sometimes comprising the entire roost population, often take off together in sudden mass departures. These departures commonly occur in low-light conditions and structurally complex habitats where access to visual cues is likely to be restricted. Roosting bird...
Article
In gregarious animals, social network positions of individuals may influence their life-history and fitness. Although association patterns and the position of individuals in social networks can be shaped by phenotypic differences and by past interactions, few studies have quantified their relative importance. We evaluated how phenotypic differences...
Article
Full-text available
Wild animals encounter humans on a regular basis, but humans vary widely in their behaviour: whereas many people ignore wild animals, some people present a threat, while others encourage animals' presence through feeding. Humans thus send mixed messages to which animals must respond appropriately to be successful. Some species appear to circumvent...
Article
Dominance is important for access to resources. As dominance interactions are costly, individuals should be strategic in whom they interact with. One hypothesis is that individuals should direct costly interactions towards those closest in rank, as they have most to gain—in terms of attaining or maintaining dominance—from winning such interactions....
Article
Full-text available
In many animal societies, individuals differ consistently in their ability to win agonistic interactions, resulting in dominance hierarchies. These differences arise due to a range of factors that can influence individuals’ abilities to win agonistic interactions, spanning from genetically driven traits through to individuals’ recent interaction hi...
Article
Full-text available
Social interactions between animals can provide many benefits, including the ability to gain useful environmental information through social learning. However, these social contacts can also facilitate the transmission of infectious diseases through a population. Animals engaging in social interactions therefore face a trade-off between the potenti...
Preprint
Full-text available
Dominance is important for access to resources. As dominance interactions are costly, individuals should be strategic in who they interact with. One hypothesis is that individuals should direct costly interactions towards those closest in rank, as they have most to gain--in terms of attaining or maintaining dominance--from winning such interactions...
Preprint
Social interactions between animals can provide many benefits, including the ability to gain useful environmental information through social learning. However, these social contacts can also facilitate the transmission of infectious diseases through a population. Animals engaging in social interactions must therefore face a trade-off between the po...
Article
Full-text available
Social learning, where information is acquired from others, is taxonomically widespread. There is growing evidence that animals selectively employ ‘social learning strategies', which determine e.g. when to copy others instead of learning asocially and whom to copy. Furthermore, once animals have acquired new information, e.g. regarding profitable r...
Article
Full-text available
Humans have a profound effect on the planet's ecosystems, and unprecedented rates of human population growth and urbanization have brought wild animals into increasing contact with people. For many species, appropriate responses toward humans are likely to be critical to survival and reproductive success. Although numerous studies have investigated...
Article
With an increasing human population and expansion of urban settlements, wild animals are often exposed to humans. As humans may be a threat, a neutral presence or a source of food, animals will benefit from continuously assessing the potential risk they pose in order to respond appropriately. Herring gulls, Larus argentatus, are increasingly breedi...
Article
Full-text available
Object play refers to the seemingly non-functional manipulation of inanimate items when in a relaxed state. In juveniles, object play may help develop skills to aid survival. However, why adults show object play remains poorly understood. We studied potential drivers and functions of the well-known object play behaviour of rock juggling in Asian sm...
Article
1- Animal social network analysis (SNA) often uses proximity data obtained from automated tracking of individuals. Identifying associations based on proximity requires deciding on quantitative criteria such as the maximum distance or the longest time interval between visits of different individuals to still consider them associated. These quantitat...
Article
Full-text available
While many animals are negatively affected by urbanization, some species appear to thrive in urban environments. Herring gulls (Larus argentatus) are commonly found in urban areas and often scavenge food discarded by humans. Despite increasing interactions between humans and gulls, little is known about the cognitive underpinnings of urban gull beh...
Article
Full-text available
Reactive individuals explore and make decisions more slowly than proactive individuals, paying more attention to external cues. Reactive personality types are therefore predicted to make fewer mistakes in cognitive tasks, especially in tests of inhibitory control and reversal learning that require individuals to adjust behavioral routines. However,...
Article
Full-text available
Social groups composed of familiar individuals exhibit better coordination than unfamiliar groups; however, the ways familiarity contributes to coordination are poorly understood. Prior social experience probably allows individuals to learn the tendencies of familiar group-mates and respond accordingly. Without prior experience, individuals would b...
Article
Human-wildlife conflict is one of the greatest threats to species populations worldwide. One species facing national declines in the UK is the herring gull (Larus argentatus), despite an increase in numbers in urban areas. Gulls in urban areas are often considered a nuisance owing to behaviours such as food-snatching. Whether urban gull feeding beh...
Article
One of the primary functions of animal aggregations is defence against predators. Many social animals enjoy reduced predation risk as a result of grouping, and individuals within groups can benefit from information transferred by their group‐mates about a potential predator. We present evidence that a tactile interaction behaviour we term “nudging”...
Article
Full-text available
It is well established that animals often differ consistently from one another in their behaviour. Most work has focused on consistent differences in average behaviour, generally referred to as 'animal per-sonality'. However, individuals may also differ consistently from one another in how they change their behaviour over time or across environment...
Article
How cognitive abilities evolve through natural selection is poorly understood. Two new studies show that a good spatial memory helps birds that hide their food to survive and produce more offspring.
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter probes the nature of the animal mind. It begins by considering the evidence that cognition evolves and is shaped by genetic inheritance. The chapter discusses the ways in which experiences throughout development shape animal minds. It considers the interplay between nature and nurture. At its core, cognition involves neuronal processin...
Article
Full-text available
In this report we analyse the cognitive performance of New Zealand Robins (Petroica longipes) using facet theory, smallest space analysis (SSA) and partial order scalogram analysis (POSA). The data set we analyse was originally subjected to principle component analysis in order to develop a test-battery for avian cognitive performance. We extend th...
Preprint
Very young animals develop life skills as they mature, and for social animals this includes the acquisition of social abilities such as communication. Many animals exhibit changeable patterns of social behavior based on development, and social experience during the juvenile period can be vital for the development of necessary social behaviors in ad...
Preprint
Full-text available
One of the primary functions of animal aggregations is defense against predators. Many social animals enjoy reduced predation risk as a result of grouping, and individuals within groups can benefit from information transferred by their group-mates about a potential predator. We present evidence that a tactile interaction behavior we term 'nudging'...
Preprint
Social groups whose members have had sustained prior experience with each other frequently exhibit improved coordination and outperform groups whose members are unfamiliar with one another. The mechanisms by which familiarity assists coordination are not well known. Prior social experience may simply allow individuals to learn the behavioral tenden...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals vary in their cognitive performance. While this variation forms the foundation of the study of human psychometrics, its broader importance is only recently being recognized. Explicitly acknowledging this individual variation found in both humans and non-human animals provides a novel opportunity to understand the mechanisms, development...
Article
Full-text available
The use of information provided by others is a common short-cut adopted to inform decision-making. However, instead of indiscriminately copying others, animals are often selective in what, when and whom they copy. How do they decide which ‘social learning strategy’ to use? Previous research indicates that stress hormone exposure in early life may b...
Article
Full-text available
Establishing how collective behaviour emerges is central to our understanding of animal societies. Previous research has highlighted how universal interaction rules shape collective behaviour, and that individual differences can drive group functioning. Groups themselves may also differ considerably in their collective behaviour, but little is know...
Data
Movie showing a group of fish in each of the three assays used for the group experiments: the free-schooling context, the open foraging context, and the semi-covered foraging context.
Data
Movie S3. Individual-Based Simulations of Self-Organizing, Heterogeneous Groups, Related to Figure S4 Movie depicting a visualization of the individual-based simulations of self-organized groups consisting of 5 and 20 agents that differ in their set speed, with the emergence of spatial leadership plotted dynamically over time.
Data
Movie showing the tracking of an individual fish in the classic boldness and sociability assays with the automatically computed behavioral measures.
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies have uncovered relationships between measures of various cognitive performances and proxies of fitness such as reproductive success in non-human animals. However, to better understand the evolution of cognition in the wild, we still have to determine the causality of these relationships and the underlying mechanisms. The cognitive ab...
Article
Full-text available
The ubiquity of consistent inter-individual differ- ences in behavior (‘‘animal personalities’’) [1, 2] sug- gests that they might play a fundamental role in driving the movements and functioning of animal groups [3, 4], including their collective decision-mak- ing, foraging performance, and predator avoidance. Despite increasing evidence that high...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies suggest that individuals with better problem-solving and/or learning performance have greater reproductive success, and that individuals may thus benefit from choosing mates based on these performances. However, directly assessing these performances in candidate mates could be difficult. Instead, the use of indirect cues related to p...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ubiquity of consistent inter-individual differences in behaviour (‘animal personalities’) 1,2 , suggests they may constitute a fundamental component of animal groups that may drive their functioning 3,4 . Despite increasing evidence that highlights their importance 5–16 , we still lack a unified mechanistic frame-work to explain and predict how...
Article
Full-text available
An interesting aspect of developmental programming is the existence of transgenerational effects that influence offspring characteristics and performance later in life. These transgenerational effects have been hypothesized to allow individuals to cope better with predictable environmental fluctuations and thus facilitate adaptation to changing env...
Article
Full-text available
Our understanding of fundamental organismal biology has been disproportionately influenced by studies of a relatively small number of ‘model’ species extensively studied in captivity. Laboratory populations of model species are commonly subject to a number of forms of past and current selection that may affect experimental outcomes. Here, we examin...
Article
Full-text available
To investigate the link between personality and maximum food intake of inactive individuals, food-deprived three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus at rest in their home compartments were provided with ad libitum prey items. Bolder individuals ate considerably more than shyer individuals, even after accounting for body size, while sociabili...
Article
Full-text available
In many species, males tend to have lower parental investment than females and greater variance in their reproductive success. Males might therefore be expected to adopt more high-risk, high-return behaviours than females. Next to risk-taking behaviour itself, sexes might also differ in how they respond to information and learn new associations owi...
Data
Figure S1: Schematic representation of the novel field test arena. Figure S2: Habituation curves for males and females for the novel open field test session.
Data
Table S1: Individual behavioural data for all male and female subjects for the three different contexts.
Article
In human psychometric testing, individuals' scores in tests of diverse cognitive processes are positively correlated, with a ‘general intelligence’ factor (g) typically accounting for at least 40% of total variance. Individual differences in cognitive ability have been extensively studied in humans, yet they have received far less attention in nonh...
Article
Full-text available
Stress during early life can cause disease and cognitive impairment in humans and non-humans alike [1]. However, stress and other environmental factors can also program developmental pathways [2, 3]. We investigate whether differential exposure to developmental stress can drive divergent social learning strategies [4, 5] between siblings. In many s...
Article
To investigate the link between personality and maximum food intake of inactive individuals, food-deprived three-spined sticklebacks Gasterosteus aculeatus at rest in their home compartments were provided with ad libitum food items. Bolder individuals ate considerably more than shyer individuals, even after accounting for body size, while sociabili...
Article
Full-text available
The quantity and quality of social relationships, as captured by social network analysis, can have major fitness consequences. Various studies have shown that individual differences in social behaviour can be due to variation in exposure to developmental stress. However, whether these developmental differences translate to consistent differences in...
Article
The directed social learning hypothesis suggests that information does not spread evenly through animal groups, but rather individual characteristics and patterns of physical proximity guide the social transmission of information along specific pathways. Network-based diffusion analysis (NBDA) allows researchers to test whether information spreads...
Article
Full-text available
The ‘cognitive capacity hypothesis’ states that song complexity could potentially be used by prospective mates to assess an individual's overall cognitive ability. Several recent studies have provided support for the cognitive capacity hypothesis, demonstrating that individuals with more complex songs or larger song repertoires performed better on...
Article
Full-text available
Cognition presents evolutionary research with one of its greatest challenges. Cognitive evolution has been explained at the proximate level by shifts in absolute and relative brain volume and at the ultimate level by differences in social and dietary complexity. However, no study has integrated the experimental and phylogenetic approach at the scal...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to recognize other individuals may provide substantial benefits to young birds, allowing them to target their begging efforts appropriately, follow caregivers after fledging, and establish social relationships later in life. Individual recognition using vocal cues is likely to