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Social Eavesdropping in Zebrafish: Tuning of Attention to Social Interactions.

Abril-de-Abreu R, Cruz J, Oliveira RF - Sci Rep (2015)

Bottom Line: This ability (aka social eavesdropping) is expected to impact Darwinian fitness, and hence predicts the evolution of cognitive processes that enable social animals to use public information available in the environment.These adaptive specializations in cognition may have evolved both at the level of learning and memory mechanisms, and at the level of input mechanisms, such as attention, which select the information that is available for learning.Here we used zebrafish to test if attention in a social species is tuned to the exchange of information between conspecifics.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: 1] Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Rua da Quinta Grande 6, 2780-156, Oeiras, Portugal [2] ISPA - Instituto Universitário, Rua Jardim do Tabaco 34, 1149-041 Lisboa, Portugal [3] Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Av. de Brasilia, 1400-038 Lisboa, Portugal.

ABSTRACT
Group living animals may eavesdrop on signalling interactions between conspecifics in order to collect adaptively relevant information obtained from others, without incurring in the costs of first-hand information acquisition. This ability (aka social eavesdropping) is expected to impact Darwinian fitness, and hence predicts the evolution of cognitive processes that enable social animals to use public information available in the environment. These adaptive specializations in cognition may have evolved both at the level of learning and memory mechanisms, and at the level of input mechanisms, such as attention, which select the information that is available for learning. Here we used zebrafish to test if attention in a social species is tuned to the exchange of information between conspecifics. Our results show that zebrafish are more attentive towards interacting (i.e. fighting) than towards non-interacting pairs of conspecifics, with the exposure to fighting not increasing activity or stress levels. Moreover, using video playbacks to manipulate form features of the fighting fish, we show that during the assessment phase of the fight, bystanders' attention is more driven by form features of the interacting opponents; whereas during the post-resolution phase, it is driven by biological movement features of the dominant fish chasing the subordinate fish.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Behavioural paradigm.(a) 3D diagram of the experimental setup. Fixed IRs cameras record all behavioural tests from above (see Methods). (b) Top view diagram of a demonstrator + test tank with focal fish. Each tracking arena (blue rectangle) is defined post-test for offline tracking of the recorded videos. (c) Schematic of the experimental treatments: bystander to fighting conspecifics (BIC); bystander to non-interacting conspecifics (BNIC); and socially isolated (ISOL). Focal fish represented with colour (BIC- magenta; BNIC- lime; ISOL- blue) and demonstrator fish (stimuli) represented in black. Region of interest (ROI) represented in light grey and one-way mirror in dark grey. (d) Schematic of the focal fish’s tracking points (blue dots) used for coordinates extraction. (e) Schematic of the focal fish’s possible mean orientations measured by its centroid-to-head axis angle α. 0° opposite and 180° directed towards the stimulus tank direction. R represents the mean resultant vector’s length and R proj its projection onto the stimulus direction.
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f1: Behavioural paradigm.(a) 3D diagram of the experimental setup. Fixed IRs cameras record all behavioural tests from above (see Methods). (b) Top view diagram of a demonstrator + test tank with focal fish. Each tracking arena (blue rectangle) is defined post-test for offline tracking of the recorded videos. (c) Schematic of the experimental treatments: bystander to fighting conspecifics (BIC); bystander to non-interacting conspecifics (BNIC); and socially isolated (ISOL). Focal fish represented with colour (BIC- magenta; BNIC- lime; ISOL- blue) and demonstrator fish (stimuli) represented in black. Region of interest (ROI) represented in light grey and one-way mirror in dark grey. (d) Schematic of the focal fish’s tracking points (blue dots) used for coordinates extraction. (e) Schematic of the focal fish’s possible mean orientations measured by its centroid-to-head axis angle α. 0° opposite and 180° directed towards the stimulus tank direction. R represents the mean resultant vector’s length and R proj its projection onto the stimulus direction.

Mentions: In order to test if zebrafish males pay particular attention to social interactions, we analysed for 30 minutes a set of behavioural parameters of individual bystander fish, placed in our experimental setup (see Methods and Fig. 1a,b), in one of three experimental treatments (Fig. 1c): (1) bystander to interacting (i.e. fighting) conspecifics (BIC); (2) bystander to non-interacting conspecifics (BNIC); and (3) socially isolated (ISOL). We video recorded all focal fishes’ behaviour and developed a custom-made video tracking system for offline tracking of each fish’s body position (head, centroid, tail; Fig. 1d) inside a defined region (arena) of the test tank (see Methods, Fig. 1b and Supplementary Video 1). Attentiveness of each focal fish was inferred from its position in the arena and from its body orientation (i.e. directionality; Fig. 1e) relative to the stimulus. Four behavioural parameters, one qualitative and three quantitative, were used as read-outs: (1) the spatial distribution of the focal fish in the arena (Fig. 1b); (2) time spent in the vicinity of the stimulus fish[i.e. time in a region of interest (ROI); Fig. 1c]; (3) orientation towards the stimulus fish (α, Figs 1e); and (4) directional focus towards the stimulus fish (R proj, Fig. 1e).


Social Eavesdropping in Zebrafish: Tuning of Attention to Social Interactions.

Abril-de-Abreu R, Cruz J, Oliveira RF - Sci Rep (2015)

Behavioural paradigm.(a) 3D diagram of the experimental setup. Fixed IRs cameras record all behavioural tests from above (see Methods). (b) Top view diagram of a demonstrator + test tank with focal fish. Each tracking arena (blue rectangle) is defined post-test for offline tracking of the recorded videos. (c) Schematic of the experimental treatments: bystander to fighting conspecifics (BIC); bystander to non-interacting conspecifics (BNIC); and socially isolated (ISOL). Focal fish represented with colour (BIC- magenta; BNIC- lime; ISOL- blue) and demonstrator fish (stimuli) represented in black. Region of interest (ROI) represented in light grey and one-way mirror in dark grey. (d) Schematic of the focal fish’s tracking points (blue dots) used for coordinates extraction. (e) Schematic of the focal fish’s possible mean orientations measured by its centroid-to-head axis angle α. 0° opposite and 180° directed towards the stimulus tank direction. R represents the mean resultant vector’s length and R proj its projection onto the stimulus direction.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4525141&req=5

f1: Behavioural paradigm.(a) 3D diagram of the experimental setup. Fixed IRs cameras record all behavioural tests from above (see Methods). (b) Top view diagram of a demonstrator + test tank with focal fish. Each tracking arena (blue rectangle) is defined post-test for offline tracking of the recorded videos. (c) Schematic of the experimental treatments: bystander to fighting conspecifics (BIC); bystander to non-interacting conspecifics (BNIC); and socially isolated (ISOL). Focal fish represented with colour (BIC- magenta; BNIC- lime; ISOL- blue) and demonstrator fish (stimuli) represented in black. Region of interest (ROI) represented in light grey and one-way mirror in dark grey. (d) Schematic of the focal fish’s tracking points (blue dots) used for coordinates extraction. (e) Schematic of the focal fish’s possible mean orientations measured by its centroid-to-head axis angle α. 0° opposite and 180° directed towards the stimulus tank direction. R represents the mean resultant vector’s length and R proj its projection onto the stimulus direction.
Mentions: In order to test if zebrafish males pay particular attention to social interactions, we analysed for 30 minutes a set of behavioural parameters of individual bystander fish, placed in our experimental setup (see Methods and Fig. 1a,b), in one of three experimental treatments (Fig. 1c): (1) bystander to interacting (i.e. fighting) conspecifics (BIC); (2) bystander to non-interacting conspecifics (BNIC); and (3) socially isolated (ISOL). We video recorded all focal fishes’ behaviour and developed a custom-made video tracking system for offline tracking of each fish’s body position (head, centroid, tail; Fig. 1d) inside a defined region (arena) of the test tank (see Methods, Fig. 1b and Supplementary Video 1). Attentiveness of each focal fish was inferred from its position in the arena and from its body orientation (i.e. directionality; Fig. 1e) relative to the stimulus. Four behavioural parameters, one qualitative and three quantitative, were used as read-outs: (1) the spatial distribution of the focal fish in the arena (Fig. 1b); (2) time spent in the vicinity of the stimulus fish[i.e. time in a region of interest (ROI); Fig. 1c]; (3) orientation towards the stimulus fish (α, Figs 1e); and (4) directional focus towards the stimulus fish (R proj, Fig. 1e).

Bottom Line: This ability (aka social eavesdropping) is expected to impact Darwinian fitness, and hence predicts the evolution of cognitive processes that enable social animals to use public information available in the environment.These adaptive specializations in cognition may have evolved both at the level of learning and memory mechanisms, and at the level of input mechanisms, such as attention, which select the information that is available for learning.Here we used zebrafish to test if attention in a social species is tuned to the exchange of information between conspecifics.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: 1] Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Rua da Quinta Grande 6, 2780-156, Oeiras, Portugal [2] ISPA - Instituto Universitário, Rua Jardim do Tabaco 34, 1149-041 Lisboa, Portugal [3] Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme, Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Av. de Brasilia, 1400-038 Lisboa, Portugal.

ABSTRACT
Group living animals may eavesdrop on signalling interactions between conspecifics in order to collect adaptively relevant information obtained from others, without incurring in the costs of first-hand information acquisition. This ability (aka social eavesdropping) is expected to impact Darwinian fitness, and hence predicts the evolution of cognitive processes that enable social animals to use public information available in the environment. These adaptive specializations in cognition may have evolved both at the level of learning and memory mechanisms, and at the level of input mechanisms, such as attention, which select the information that is available for learning. Here we used zebrafish to test if attention in a social species is tuned to the exchange of information between conspecifics. Our results show that zebrafish are more attentive towards interacting (i.e. fighting) than towards non-interacting pairs of conspecifics, with the exposure to fighting not increasing activity or stress levels. Moreover, using video playbacks to manipulate form features of the fighting fish, we show that during the assessment phase of the fight, bystanders' attention is more driven by form features of the interacting opponents; whereas during the post-resolution phase, it is driven by biological movement features of the dominant fish chasing the subordinate fish.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus