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Rats prefer mutual rewards in a prosocial choice task.

Hernandez-Lallement J, van Wingerden M, Marx C, Srejic M, Kalenscher T - Front Neurosci (2015)

Bottom Line: Pro-sociality, i.e., the preference for outcomes that produce benefits for other individuals, is ubiquitous in humans.Here, we present a rodent analog of the Pro-social Choice Task that controls strategic components, de-confounds other-regarding choice motives from the animals' natural tendencies to maximize own food access and directly tests the effect of social context on choice allocation.We found that actors chose "both reward" at levels above chance and more often in the partner than in the toy condition.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Comparative Psychology, Institute of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich-Heine University of Düsseldorf Düsseldorf, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Pro-sociality, i.e., the preference for outcomes that produce benefits for other individuals, is ubiquitous in humans. Recently, cross-species comparisons of social behavior have offered important new insights into the evolution of pro-sociality. Here, we present a rodent analog of the Pro-social Choice Task that controls strategic components, de-confounds other-regarding choice motives from the animals' natural tendencies to maximize own food access and directly tests the effect of social context on choice allocation. We trained pairs of rats-an actor and a partner rat-in a double T-maze task where actors decided between two alternatives only differing in the reward delivered to the partner. The "own reward" choice yielded a reward only accessible to the actor whereas the "both reward" choice produced an additional reward for a partner (partner condition) or an inanimate toy (toy Condition), located in an adjacent compartment. We found that actors chose "both reward" at levels above chance and more often in the partner than in the toy condition. Moreover, we show that this choice pattern adapts to the current social context and that the observed behavior is stable over time.

No MeSH data available.


Rats show pro-social behavior. (A) Percentage of BR choices for the partner (blue) and toy (red) conditions in Batch 1: the average percentage of BR choices was significantly higher in the partner compared to the toy condition and was different from chance levels. (B) Percentage of BR choices in Batch 2: rats showed the same partner-toy-dissociation of pro-social behavior pre- and post-repetition. Y-axis is cut for demonstration purposes. *p < 0.05; **p < 0.01; ***p < 0.001; ns, not significant. Error bars represent the standard error of the mean, s.e.m.
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Figure 2: Rats show pro-social behavior. (A) Percentage of BR choices for the partner (blue) and toy (red) conditions in Batch 1: the average percentage of BR choices was significantly higher in the partner compared to the toy condition and was different from chance levels. (B) Percentage of BR choices in Batch 2: rats showed the same partner-toy-dissociation of pro-social behavior pre- and post-repetition. Y-axis is cut for demonstration purposes. *p < 0.05; **p < 0.01; ***p < 0.001; ns, not significant. Error bars represent the standard error of the mean, s.e.m.

Mentions: We first asked whether, at the group level, rats' preferences for BR or OR compartments were significantly different from chance, and, further, whether their preferences differed between partner and toy conditions. In batch 1 (see below for batch 2 results), the proportion of BR choices was significantly above chance in the partner condition (One-sample Wilcoxon signed rank test; Z = 2.54; p = 0.01), and significantly below chance in the toy condition (Z = −2.95; p = 0.003). Accordingly, we found a significantly higher proportion of BR choices in the partner condition compared to the toy condition (Figure 2A; Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed rank test Z = −3.41; p = 0.001).


Rats prefer mutual rewards in a prosocial choice task.

Hernandez-Lallement J, van Wingerden M, Marx C, Srejic M, Kalenscher T - Front Neurosci (2015)

Rats show pro-social behavior. (A) Percentage of BR choices for the partner (blue) and toy (red) conditions in Batch 1: the average percentage of BR choices was significantly higher in the partner compared to the toy condition and was different from chance levels. (B) Percentage of BR choices in Batch 2: rats showed the same partner-toy-dissociation of pro-social behavior pre- and post-repetition. Y-axis is cut for demonstration purposes. *p < 0.05; **p < 0.01; ***p < 0.001; ns, not significant. Error bars represent the standard error of the mean, s.e.m.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4296215&req=5

Figure 2: Rats show pro-social behavior. (A) Percentage of BR choices for the partner (blue) and toy (red) conditions in Batch 1: the average percentage of BR choices was significantly higher in the partner compared to the toy condition and was different from chance levels. (B) Percentage of BR choices in Batch 2: rats showed the same partner-toy-dissociation of pro-social behavior pre- and post-repetition. Y-axis is cut for demonstration purposes. *p < 0.05; **p < 0.01; ***p < 0.001; ns, not significant. Error bars represent the standard error of the mean, s.e.m.
Mentions: We first asked whether, at the group level, rats' preferences for BR or OR compartments were significantly different from chance, and, further, whether their preferences differed between partner and toy conditions. In batch 1 (see below for batch 2 results), the proportion of BR choices was significantly above chance in the partner condition (One-sample Wilcoxon signed rank test; Z = 2.54; p = 0.01), and significantly below chance in the toy condition (Z = −2.95; p = 0.003). Accordingly, we found a significantly higher proportion of BR choices in the partner condition compared to the toy condition (Figure 2A; Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed rank test Z = −3.41; p = 0.001).

Bottom Line: Pro-sociality, i.e., the preference for outcomes that produce benefits for other individuals, is ubiquitous in humans.Here, we present a rodent analog of the Pro-social Choice Task that controls strategic components, de-confounds other-regarding choice motives from the animals' natural tendencies to maximize own food access and directly tests the effect of social context on choice allocation.We found that actors chose "both reward" at levels above chance and more often in the partner than in the toy condition.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Comparative Psychology, Institute of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich-Heine University of Düsseldorf Düsseldorf, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Pro-sociality, i.e., the preference for outcomes that produce benefits for other individuals, is ubiquitous in humans. Recently, cross-species comparisons of social behavior have offered important new insights into the evolution of pro-sociality. Here, we present a rodent analog of the Pro-social Choice Task that controls strategic components, de-confounds other-regarding choice motives from the animals' natural tendencies to maximize own food access and directly tests the effect of social context on choice allocation. We trained pairs of rats-an actor and a partner rat-in a double T-maze task where actors decided between two alternatives only differing in the reward delivered to the partner. The "own reward" choice yielded a reward only accessible to the actor whereas the "both reward" choice produced an additional reward for a partner (partner condition) or an inanimate toy (toy Condition), located in an adjacent compartment. We found that actors chose "both reward" at levels above chance and more often in the partner than in the toy condition. Moreover, we show that this choice pattern adapts to the current social context and that the observed behavior is stable over time.

No MeSH data available.