Similarities in spatial cognition in sister species of the striped mouse Rhabdomys originating from different ecological contexts

Similarities in spatial cognition in sister species of the striped mouse Rhabdomys originating... Variation in spatial cognition is correlated with differences in the environments where animals originate, such that different environments might select for different cognitive ability. We investigated whether three sister species of the striped mouse genus Rhabdomys differed in their spatial cognition. The species originated from three locations across a rainfall gradient in southern Africa, which vary in habitat complexity. We tested individuals in a modified Barnes maze and asked whether the species had different spatial memory and navigation and whether these differences were related to their geographic location. We showed that the species had similar spatial memory and cue use, differing only when external cues were initially removed and during the first probe test of spatial memory. The similarities suggest that the environment of origin is not associated with spatial cognition in Rhabdomys, and that spatial cognition is phylogenetically constrained or there might be similar selection pressures across the distribution. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Behaviour Brill

Similarities in spatial cognition in sister species of the striped mouse Rhabdomys originating from different ecological contexts

Behaviour , Volume 154 (13-15): 24 – Dec 31, 2017

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0005-7959
eISSN
1568-539X
D.O.I.
10.1163/1568539X-00003474
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Variation in spatial cognition is correlated with differences in the environments where animals originate, such that different environments might select for different cognitive ability. We investigated whether three sister species of the striped mouse genus Rhabdomys differed in their spatial cognition. The species originated from three locations across a rainfall gradient in southern Africa, which vary in habitat complexity. We tested individuals in a modified Barnes maze and asked whether the species had different spatial memory and navigation and whether these differences were related to their geographic location. We showed that the species had similar spatial memory and cue use, differing only when external cues were initially removed and during the first probe test of spatial memory. The similarities suggest that the environment of origin is not associated with spatial cognition in Rhabdomys, and that spatial cognition is phylogenetically constrained or there might be similar selection pressures across the distribution.

Journal

BehaviourBrill

Published: Dec 31, 2017

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