Exploratory behaviour is not related to associative learning ability in the carabid beetle Nebria brevicollis
Harris, C., Liedtke, J., Drees, C., & Schuett, W. (2020). Exploratory behaviour is not related to associative learning ability in the carabid beetle Nebria brevicollis. Behavioural Processes, 180, Article 104224. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2020.104224
Published inBehavioural Processes
© 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Recently, it has been hypothesised that as learning performance and animal personality vary along a common axis of fast and slow types, natural selection may act on both in parallel leading to a correlation between learning and personality traits. We examined the relationship between risk-taking and exploratory behaviour and associative learning ability in carabid beetle Nebria brevicollis females by quantifying the number of trials individuals required to reach criterion during an associative learning task (‘learning performance’). The associative learning task required the females to associate odour and direction with refugia from light and heat in a T-maze. Further, we assessed learning performance in a reversal task by quantifying the number of correct trials when the reinforcement was switched to previously unrewarding stimuli. We found that N. brevicollis females can associate conditional stimuli with a reward. No female was able to reverse the learned association within the number of trials given, however individuals differed in the number of correct trials in the reversal phase. Contrary to previous predictions neither exploratory behaviour, which was repeatable, nor risk-taking were correlated with learning performance. Our results suggest that the relationship between learning and personality may not take a common form across species. ...
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