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  Are the more flexible great-tailed grackles also better at behavioral inhibition? (In principle acceptance by PCI Ecology of the version on 6 Mar 2019)

Logan, C. J., McCune, K., MacPherson, M., Johnson-Ulrich, Z., Rowney, C., Seitz, B., et al. (2020). Are the more flexible great-tailed grackles also better at behavioral inhibition? (In principle acceptance by PCI Ecology of the version on 6 Mar 2019). PsyArXiv. doi:10.31234/osf.io/vpc39.

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Logan, Corina J.1, Author              
McCune, Kelsey, Author
MacPherson, Maggie, Author
Johnson-Ulrich, Zoe, Author
Rowney, Carolyn1, 2, Author              
Seitz, Benjamin, Author
Blaisdell, Aaron, Author
Deffner, Dominik1, Author              
Wascher, Claudia, Author
Affiliations:
1Department of Human Behavior Ecology and Culture, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society, ou_2173689              
2Department of Primatology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society, ou_1497674              

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 Abstract: Behavioral flexibility should theoretically be positively related to behavioral inhibition (hereafter referred to as inhibition) because one should need to inhibit a previously learned behavior to change their behavior when the task changes (the flexibility component;). However, several investigations show no or mixed support of this hypothesis, which challenges the assumption that inhibition is involved in making flexible decisions. We aimed to test the hypothesis that behavioral flexibility (measured as reversal learning and solution switching on a multi-access box by Logan et al. 2019) is associated with inhibition by measuring both variables in the same individuals and three inhibition tests (a go/no go task on a touchscreen, a detour task, and a delay of gratification experiment). We set out to measure grackle inhibition to determine whether those individuals that are more flexible are also better at inhibition. Because touchscreen experiments had never been conducted in this species, we additionally validated that a touchscreen setup is functional for wild-caught grackles who learned to use the touchscreen and completed the go/no go inhibition task on it. Results showed that only performance on the go/no go inhibition task correlated with the two flexibility measures: positively with the number of trials to reverse a preference in the reversal learning experiment, and negatively with the average latency to attempt a new option on the multi-access box. That is, individuals who were faster to update their behavior in the reversal experiment were also faster to reach criterion in the go/no go task, but took more time to attempt a new option in the multi-access box experiment. Performance on the detour inhibition task did not correlate with either measure of flexibility, suggesting that detour performance and the flexibility experiments may measure separate traits. We were not able to run the delay of gratification experiment because the grackles never habituated to the apparatuses. Performance on the go/no go and detour inhibition tests did not correlate with each other, indicating that they did not measure the same trait. We conclude that behavioral flexibility is associated with certain types of inhibition, but not others, in great-tailed grackles.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020-12
 Publication Status: Published online
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.31234/osf.io/vpc39
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Title: PsyArXiv
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