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The relationship between learning speed and personality is age- and task-dependent in red junglefowl
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Linköping University, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8708-8097
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6435-011X
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2018 (English)In: Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, ISSN 0340-5443, E-ISSN 1432-0762, Vol. 72, no 10, article id 168Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Cognition is fundamental to animals’ lives and an important source of phenotypic variation. Nevertheless, research on individual variation in animal cognition is still limited. Further, although individual cognitive abilities have been suggested to be linked to personality (i.e., consistent behavioral differences among individuals), few studies have linked performance across multiple cognitive tasks to personality traits. Thus, the interplays between cognition and personality are still unclear. We therefore investigated the relationships between an important aspect of cognition, learning, and personality, by exposing young and adult red junglefowl (Gallus gallus) to multiple learning tasks (discriminative, reversal, and spatial learning) and personality assays (novel arena, novel object, and tonic immobility). Learning speed was not correlated across learning tasks, and learning speed in discrimination and spatial learning tasks did not co-vary with personality. However, learning speed in reversal tasks was associated with individual variation in exploration, and in an age-dependent manner. More explorative chicks learned the reversal task faster than less explorative ones, while the opposite association was found for adult females (learning speed could not be assayed in adult males). In the same reversal tasks, we also observed a sex difference in learning speed of chicks, with females learning faster than males. Our results suggest that the relationship between cognition and personality is complex, as shown by its task- and age-dependence, and encourage further investigation of the causality and dynamics of this relationship.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 72, no 10, article id 168
Keywords [en]
Exploration, Cognition, Gallus gallus, Personality
National Category
Behavioral Sciences Biology
Research subject
Ethology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-160929DOI: 10.1007/s00265-018-2579-2ISI: 000445736500001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-160929DiVA, id: diva2:1255317
Available from: 2018-10-11 Created: 2018-10-11 Last updated: 2020-03-05Bibliographically approved

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