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Generalization of learned preferences covaries with behavioral flexibility in red junglefowl chicks
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Linköping University, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
2019 (English)In: Behavioral Ecology, ISSN 1045-2249, E-ISSN 1465-7279Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The relationship between animal cognition and consistent among-individual behavioral differences (i.e., behavioral types, animal personality, or coping styles), has recently received increased research attention. Focus has mainly been on linking different behavioral types to performance in learning tasks. It has been suggested that behavioral differences could influence also how individuals use previously learnt information to generalize about new stimuli with similar properties. Nonetheless, this has rarely been empirically tested. Here, we therefore explore the possibility that individual variation in generalization is related to variation in behavioral types in red junglefowl chicks (Gallus gallus). We show that more behaviorally flexible chicks have a stronger preference for a novel stimulus that is intermediate between 2 learnt positive stimuli compared to more inflexible chicks. Thus, more flexible and inflexible chicks differ in how they generalize. Further, behavioral flexibility correlates with fearfulness, suggesting a coping style, supporting that variation in generalization is related to variation in behavioral types. How individuals generalize affects decision making and responses to novel situations or objects, and can thus have a broad influence on the life of an individual. Our results add to the growing body of evidence linking cognition to consistent behavioral differences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
animal cognition, animal personality, coping style, Gallus gallus, learning
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Ethology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-171420DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arz088OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-171420DiVA, id: diva2:1341010
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilHelge Ax:son Johnsons stiftelse Swedish Research Council FormasAvailable from: 2019-08-07 Created: 2019-08-07 Last updated: 2019-08-21

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Balogh, Alexandra C. V.Leimar, Olof
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