When a place is not a place: encoding of spatial information is dependent on reward type

When a place is not a place: encoding of spatial information is dependent on reward type When a place is not a place: encoding of spatial information is dependent on reward type Danielle Sulikowski 1,3) & Darren Burke 2) ( 1 Department of Brain, Behaviour and Evolution, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia; 2 School of Psychology, University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, NT, Australia) (Accepted: 1 July 2010) Summary The adaptationist perspective investigates how an animal’s cognition has been shaped by the informational properties of the environment. The information that is useful may vary from one context to another. In the current study we examine how manipulating the foraging context (the type of resource being foraged) could affect the way spatial information is used by the forager. Noisy miner birds (omnivorous honeyeaters) were given spatial working memory tasks in which they searched baited and unbaited feeders for either nectar or invertebrates. We hypothesised that noisy miners would encode the locations of baited and unbaited feeders equally well when foraging for nectar (all flowers, whether containing nectar or not are places to remember and avoid while foraging on a plant). When foraging for invertebrates, however, we predicted that noisy miner birds would not encode the locations of unbaited feeders as effectively as baited feeders (in a natural http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Behaviour Brill

When a place is not a place: encoding of spatial information is dependent on reward type

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2010 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0005-7959
eISSN
1568-539X
D.O.I.
10.1163/000579510X521564
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

When a place is not a place: encoding of spatial information is dependent on reward type Danielle Sulikowski 1,3) & Darren Burke 2) ( 1 Department of Brain, Behaviour and Evolution, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia; 2 School of Psychology, University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, NT, Australia) (Accepted: 1 July 2010) Summary The adaptationist perspective investigates how an animal’s cognition has been shaped by the informational properties of the environment. The information that is useful may vary from one context to another. In the current study we examine how manipulating the foraging context (the type of resource being foraged) could affect the way spatial information is used by the forager. Noisy miner birds (omnivorous honeyeaters) were given spatial working memory tasks in which they searched baited and unbaited feeders for either nectar or invertebrates. We hypothesised that noisy miners would encode the locations of baited and unbaited feeders equally well when foraging for nectar (all flowers, whether containing nectar or not are places to remember and avoid while foraging on a plant). When foraging for invertebrates, however, we predicted that noisy miner birds would not encode the locations of unbaited feeders as effectively as baited feeders (in a natural

Journal

BehaviourBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2010

Keywords: SPATIAL COGNITION; RESOURCE DISTRIBUTION; FORAGING

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