Thomas Bugnyar

Thomas Bugnyar
University of Vienna | UniWien · Department of Cognitive Biology

About

226
Publications
44,122
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6,173
Citations
Citations since 2016
134 Research Items
3877 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600

Publications

Publications (226)
Article
Full-text available
Short-term memory is implicated in a range of cognitive abilities and is critical for understanding primate cognitive evolution. To investigate the effects of phylogeny, ecology and sociality on short-term memory, we tested the largest and most diverse primate sample to date (421 non-human primates across 41 species) in an experimental delayed-resp...
Article
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The proximate mechanisms underlying animal personalities, i.e. consistent inter-individual differences in behaviour, are a matter of discussion. Brain lateralization, expressed as the preferred use of the contralateral limb, has been suggested as one of these mechanisms. In this study, we measured a proxy of brain lateralization in captive common m...
Article
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Mirror self-recognition (MSR) assessed by the Mark Test has been the staple test for the study of animal self-awareness. When tested in this paradigm, corvid species return discrepant results, with only the Eurasian magpies and the Indian house crow successfully passing the test so far, whereas multiple other corvid species fail. The lack of replic...
Article
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Background Anthropogenic food sources (AFSs) are widespread in human-transformed landscapes and the current scale at which they occur drives ecological change at the individual, population, and community levels. AFSs are exploited extensively by common ravens, Corvus corax . Understanding how raven populations use AFSs can provide insight into thei...
Article
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Animals are governed by their individual and species-specific predispositions, constrained by their natural and social environment, and influenced by their daily-life experiences. Drawing a broad comparative arc from domestic dogs and corvids to nonhuman primates, we illustrate the importance of looking beyond any presumed dichotomy between field a...
Article
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Social competence, i.e. defined as the ability to adjust the expression of social behaviour to the available social information, is known to be influenced by early-life conditions. Brood size might be one of the factors determining such early conditions, particularly in species with extended parental care. We here tested in ravens whether growing u...
Article
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The overt and reflexive matching of behaviors among conspecifics has been observed in a growing number of social vertebrates, including avian species. In general, behavioral contagion—such as the spread of yawning—may serve important functions in group synchronization and vigilance behavior. Here, we performed an exploratory study to investigate ya...
Article
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Consistent inter-individual variation in cognition has been increasingly explored in recent years in terms of its patterns, causes and consequences. One of its possible causes are consistent inter- individual differences in behaviour, also referred to as animal personalities, which are shaped by both the physical and the social environment. The lat...
Article
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Dominance hierarchies typically emerge in systems where group members regularly encounter and compete for resources. In birds, the ‘open’ and dynamic structure of foraging groups may prevent the emergence of structured hierarchies, although this assumption have hardly been tested. We report on agonistic data for ravens Corvus corax , collected over...
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Parents face a trade-off when allocating limited resources to reproduction and self-maintenance, and this can result in differential investment in individual offspring when rearing multiple offspring simultaneously. In birds with biparental care, it is not well understood how each parent allocates its resources to different chicks of the same brood...
Article
Behavioral responses to novelty, including fear and subsequent avoidance of novel stimuli, i.e., neophobia, determine how animals interact with their environment. Neophobia aids in navigating risk and impacts on adaptability and survival. There is variation within and between individuals and species; however, lack of large-scale, comparative studie...
Article
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Oxytocin is involved in a broad array of social behaviours. While saliva has been used regularly to investigate the role of oxytocin in social behaviour of mammal species, so far, to our knowledge, no-one has tried to measure its homolog, mesotocin, in birds' saliva. Therefore, in this study we measured salivary mesotocin in common ravens (Corvus c...
Preprint
Full-text available
Behavioural responses to novelty, including fear and subsequent avoidance of novel stimuli, behaviours referred to as neophobia, determine how animals interact with their environment. Neophobia aids in navigating risk and impacts on adaptability and survival. There is variation within and between individuals and species, however, lack of large-scal...
Article
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Perceiving, evaluating and reacting towards conspecifics' emotional states are important challenges of social group living. Emotional contagion describes an alignment of emotional states between individuals and is widely believed to be based on behavioral synchronization, i.e., behavioral contagion. As basic empathy-like processes, the occurrence o...
Article
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To study the evolution of humans’ cooperative nature, researchers have recently sought comparisons with other species. Studies investigating corvids, for example, showed that carrion crows and azure-winged magpies delivered food to group members when tested in naturalistic or simple experimental paradigms. Here, we investigated whether we could rep...
Article
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Recent studies indicate that yawning evolved as a brain cooling mechanism. Given that larger brains have greater thermolytic needs and brain temperature is determined in part by heat production from neuronal activity, it was hypothesized that animals with larger brains and more neurons would yawn longer to produce comparable cooling effects. To tes...
Article
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Personality in animals has been extensively researched in recent decades. Temporal consistency of behaviors is almost always part of the personality definition and is usually explored in several different testing sessions or observation periods. However, it is still unclear whether the obtained personality constructs are stable across several years...
Article
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Communication about threats including those posed by the presence of predators occurs mainly through acoustic signals called alarm calls. The comprehension of these calls by receivers and their rapid antipredator response are crucial in terms of survival. However, to avoid overreaction, individuals should evaluate whether or not an antipredator res...
Article
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The investigation of prosocial behavior is of particular interest from an evolutionary perspective. Comparisons of prosociality across non-human animal species have, however, so far largely focused on primates, and their interpretation is hampered by the diversity of paradigms and procedures used. Here, we present the first systematic comparison of...
Article
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Abstract Helping others is a key feature of human behavior. However, recent studies render this feature not uniquely human, and describe discoveries of prosocial behavior in non-human primates, other social mammals, and most recently in some bird species. Nevertheless, the cognitive underpinnings of this prosociality; i.e., whether animals take oth...
Article
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The storage of food is widespread among mammals and birds and can be flexibly adjusted to various contexts such as competition, food availability or energetic demands. In bird species, nonbreeders often move through large areas whereby periods of long-term settlement can alternate with short-term visits. In food-caching species these differences in...
Article
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Many animal species cooperate with conspecifics in various social contexts. While ultimate causes of cooperation are being studied extensively, its proximate causes, particularly endocrine mechanisms, have received comparatively little attention. Here, we present a study investigating the link between the hormone cortisol, cooperation and social bo...
Article
For most research on birds in the wild, catching and marking of individuals is essential. Corvids may be difficult to catch due to their neophobia and good learning abilities; moreover, different catching methods may target specific social classes. We investigated the success of two different catching methods, Ladder trap and Larsen trap, over the...
Article
Eavesdropping on heterospecific alarm calls is a crucial source of information for many species (including corvids) and it is effective especially if these species form mixed-species flocks, have a similar spectrum of predators, and share habitat. Previous research on wild common ravens (Corvus corax) has shown that they react to the jackdaws’ alar...
Article
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Social learning is a powerful mechanism of information acquisition and can be found in various species. According to the type of information transmitted, animals may change their motivation to perform actions, shift their perception/attention to relevant stimuli, associate other individuals' behaviours with particular stimuli/events or learn to per...
Article
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Early social experiences can affect the development and expression of individual social behaviour throughout life. In particular, early-life social deprivations, notably of parental care, can later have deleterious consequences. We can, therefore, expect rearing procedures such as hand-raising-widely used in ethology and socio-cognitive science-to...
Chapter
Over the last decade, comparative work on animal cooperative problem solving has gained considerable momentum. Specifically, several primates, social carnivores, elephants, and some parrots and corvids have now been shown to master the cooperative ‘loose-string’ paradigm in which two individuals must simultaneously pull a string to obtain rewards....
Article
Full-text available
Numerous birds and mammals use vocal signals to advertise feeding opportunities but often such signals vary with individual and contextual factors. Non-breeding ravens call at food that is difficult to access, resulting in the attraction of nearby conspecifics. Although callers may benefit from group formation in various ways, we recently found sub...
Article
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Allogrooming in primates serves not only a hygienic function, but also plays a crucial role in maintaining strong affiliative bonds between group members, which in turn, underpin the emergence of cooperative behavior. In contrast, although allopreening occurs in many avian species, we know little about its social functions. Our study addresses this...
Article
Full-text available
Social foraging provides several benefits for individuals but also bears the potential costs of higher competition. In some species, such competition arises through kleptoparasitism, that is when an animal takes food which was caught or collected by a member of its social group. Except in the context of caching, few studies have investigated how in...
Article
Mirror reflections can elicit various behavioral responses ranging from social behavior, which suggests that an animal treats its own reflection as a conspecific, to mirror-guided self-directed behaviors, which appears to be an indication for mirror self-recognition (MSR). MSR is scarcely spread in the animal kingdom. Until recently, only great ape...
Article
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Human economic transactions are based on complex forms of reciprocity, which involve the capacities to share and to keep track of what was given and received over time. Animals too engage in reciprocal interactions, but mechanisms such as calculated reciprocity have only been shown experimentally in few species. Various forms of cooperation, for ex...
Article
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h3>Abstract Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the world, largely because of risk factors modifiable by changes in behavior. There is evolving evidence that our behavior as adults has its roots in the environment that we live in from early childhood. Early sustained multicomponent educational programs focused on...
Article
Animal personality, consistent interindividual differences in behavior through time, has been intensively studied across animal taxa and particularly in nonhuman primates. Two different methods have been used to study personality: questionnaires filled out by trusted raters, following the research tradition in human personality psychology, and beha...
Article
Significance To successfully and efficiently live in social groups, we need information about each other’s emotions. Emotional contagion has been suggested to facilitate such information transmission, yet it remains difficult to measure this in animals. Previous research has often focused on overt behavior but lacked additional methods for investig...
Article
Humans modulate their self-evaluations and behaviour as a function of conspecific presence and performance. In this study, we tested for the presence of human-like social comparison effects in long-tailed macaques ( Macaca fascicularis). The monkeys' task was to extract food from an apparatus by pulling drawers within reach and we measured latency...
Article
Full-text available
Making economic decisions in a natural foraging situation that involves the use of tools may require an animal to consider more levels of relational complexity than merely deciding between an immediate and a delayed food option. We used the same method previously used with Goffin´s cockatoos to investigate the orangutans’ flexibility for making the...
Data
Number of correct trials out of a total of 12 trials for each condition in the QAT for each individual. Binomial probabilities: * = p<0.05 (10/12 correct), ** = p<0.01 (11/12 correct); *** = p<0.001 (12/12 correct). (PDF)
Data
Number of correct trials out of a total of 12 trials for each condition in the MT for each individual. Binomial probabilities: * = p<0.05 (10/12 correct), ** = p<0.01 (11/12 correct); *** = p<0.001 (12/12 correct). (PDF)
Data
Results of the paired Wilcoxon tests for the first and last six trials of each condition for each test (n = 6). (PDF)
Data
Number of correct trials out of a total of 12 trials for each condition in the TSQAT for each individual. Binomial probabilities: * = p<0.05 (10/12 correct), ** = p<0.01 (11/12 correct); *** = p<0.001 (12/12 correct). (PDF)
Data
Results of the paired Wilcoxon tests for subjects´ performance in the ball- and stick- apparatus condition for each condition and for each test (n = 6). (PDF)
Data
Results of the preference tests in percent (%) including all combinations (a = apple, g = grape, p = banana pellet, r = rusk; TPF = third preferred food, MPF = most preferred food). Preference test 1 was conducted before subjects entered the test, Preference test 4 was conducted after all subjects had received all test trials. Preference test 2 &3...
Data
Names, sex and year of birth and rearing history of the six orangutans (Pongo abelii). (PDF)
Data
Number of correct trials out of a total of 12 trials for each condition in the TST for each individual. Binomial probabilities: * = p<0.05 (10/12 correct), ** = p<0.01 (11/12 correct); *** = p<0.001 (12/12 correct). (PDF)
Data
Number of correct trials out of a total of 12 trials for each condition in the TFT for each individual. Binomial probabilities: * = p<0.05 (10/12 correct), ** = p<0.01 (11/12 correct); *** = p<0.001 (12/12 correct). (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
In the last decades, the assumption that complex social life is cognitively challenging, and thus can drive mental evolution, has received much support from empirical studies in nonhuman primates. While extending the scope to other mammals and birds, different views have been adopted on what constitutes social complexity and which specific cognitiv...
Article
Full-text available
Social complexity arises from the formation of social relationships like social bonds and dominance hierarchies. In turn, these aspects may be affected by the degree of fission-fusion dynamics, i.e., changes in group size and composition over time. Whilst fission-fusion dynamics has been studied in mammals, birds have received comparably little att...
Article
Full-text available
Recognizing that two elements within a sequence of variable length depend on each other is a key ability in understanding the structure of language and music. Perception of such interdependencies has previously been documented in chimpanzees in the visual domain and in human infants and common squirrel monkeys with auditory playback experiments, bu...
Article
Full-text available
Betty the crow astonished the scientific world as she spontaneously crafted hook-tools from straight wire in order to lift a basket out of vertical tubes. Recently it was suggested that this species' solution was strongly influenced by predispositions from behavioural routines from habitual hook-tool manufacture. Nevertheless, the task became a par...
Preprint
Humans modulate their self-evaluations and behaviour as a function of conspecific presence and performance. In this study we tested for the presence of human-like social comparison effects in long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis). The monkeys’ task was to extract food from an apparatus by pulling drawers within reach and we measured latency be...
Article
The ability to select the necessary means for a familiar task while the task itself or the respective tools are out of sight suggests a rudimentary form of planning. Here we investigated if and how a non-specialized tool using bird, the Goffin’s cockatoo, can prospectively or retrospectively select the functional tool in a decision-making task feat...
Article
Full-text available
1.Behavioural syndromes refer to correlated suites of behavioural traits exhibiting consistent among‐individual variation, i.e. personality. Factor analysis (FA) is currently the dominant method for modelling behavioural syndromes in humans and animals. Although FA is useful for inferring the latent causes underlying trait correlations, it does not...
Article
Full-text available
Some protected species have benefited from human activities to a point where they sometimes raise concerns. However, gaps in knowledge about their human-related behaviour hamper effective management decisions. We studied non-breeding common ravens Corvus corax that aggregated and predated livestock in the surroundings of a landfill. Combining sever...
Article
Full-text available
Prosocial behaviour (i.e., voluntary behaviour intended to benefit another) seems to be fully developed in children by the age of 6 years. However, questions about which factors modify prosocial behaviour at that age remain understudied. Here we used a resource allocation paradigm to test prosocial behaviour in 6–9-year-old school children. They co...