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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

Bystanders to fighting conspecifics versus bystanders to fighting dots.(a–e) Scatter plots (n = 23 to 24 / treatment) of individual (coloured dots) and mean (black lines): time spent in the ROI; resultant vector’s length R projected (R proj) onto 180˚; total distance covered; mean speed in ROI; and whole-body cortisol levels (n = 18 to 19 / treatment), for the bystander to video of fighting conspecifics (BVIC - dark magenta) and bystander to video of fighting dots (BVID - orange) treatments. Grey dashed line represents in (a) the value expected from a random distribution in the arena (25%); and in (b) no directionality (R proj = 0). (f) Temporal dynamics’ comparison of the mean time spent in ROI, between BVIC (dark magenta) and BVID (orange) treatments. Grey shadows represent the standard error (SEM); dashed grey horizontal line – value expected from a random distribution in the arena (25%); dashed black vertical line - video fight resolution time point (at 3.5 minutes); dashed grey area – pre-resolution (0 to 3.5 min) and post-resolution (3.5 to 7 min) analysed time intervals. (g) Bars plot of mean ± SEM comparison between BVIC and BVID treatments, before and after the fight resolution event, in the previously defined time period (* P < 0.05).
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f6: Bystanders to fighting conspecifics versus bystanders to fighting dots.(a–e) Scatter plots (n = 23 to 24 / treatment) of individual (coloured dots) and mean (black lines): time spent in the ROI; resultant vector’s length R projected (R proj) onto 180˚; total distance covered; mean speed in ROI; and whole-body cortisol levels (n = 18 to 19 / treatment), for the bystander to video of fighting conspecifics (BVIC - dark magenta) and bystander to video of fighting dots (BVID - orange) treatments. Grey dashed line represents in (a) the value expected from a random distribution in the arena (25%); and in (b) no directionality (R proj = 0). (f) Temporal dynamics’ comparison of the mean time spent in ROI, between BVIC (dark magenta) and BVID (orange) treatments. Grey shadows represent the standard error (SEM); dashed grey horizontal line – value expected from a random distribution in the arena (25%); dashed black vertical line - video fight resolution time point (at 3.5 minutes); dashed grey area – pre-resolution (0 to 3.5 min) and post-resolution (3.5 to 7 min) analysed time intervals. (g) Bars plot of mean ± SEM comparison between BVIC and BVID treatments, before and after the fight resolution event, in the previously defined time period (* P < 0.05).

Mentions: No significance differences in the mean time spent in the ROI were detected between BVID and BVIC (Table 2) for the 30 minutes analysis, although BVID fish revealed twice the dispersion of BVIC (Fig. 6a). The BVID group resultant mean vector also oriented towards the stimulus[αg (BVID) = 176.75°, 95% C.I. = 219.87°–106.32°, Rg = 0.051, n = 24), with the distribution of the individual fish’s mean orientations deviating significantly (Moore’s test, P < 0.005) from uniformity (Supplementary Fig. 1). The value of its Rgproj onto the stimulus direction was also low and not different from BVIC (Table 2; Fig. 6b). Analysis of the total distance covered and mean speed in ROI, did not reveal significant differences to the BVIC treatment (Table 2; Fig. 6c,d). Whole-body cortisol levels were also not significantly different (Table 2; Fig. 6e).


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

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

Bystanders to fighting conspecifics versus bystanders to fighting dots.(a–e) Scatter plots (n = 23 to 24 / treatment) of individual (coloured dots) and mean (black lines): time spent in the ROI; resultant vector’s length R projected (R proj) onto 180˚; total distance covered; mean speed in ROI; and whole-body cortisol levels (n = 18 to 19 / treatment), for the bystander to video of fighting conspecifics (BVIC - dark magenta) and bystander to video of fighting dots (BVID - orange) treatments. Grey dashed line represents in (a) the value expected from a random distribution in the arena (25%); and in (b) no directionality (R proj = 0). (f) Temporal dynamics’ comparison of the mean time spent in ROI, between BVIC (dark magenta) and BVID (orange) treatments. Grey shadows represent the standard error (SEM); dashed grey horizontal line – value expected from a random distribution in the arena (25%); dashed black vertical line - video fight resolution time point (at 3.5 minutes); dashed grey area – pre-resolution (0 to 3.5 min) and post-resolution (3.5 to 7 min) analysed time intervals. (g) Bars plot of mean ± SEM comparison between BVIC and BVID treatments, before and after the fight resolution event, in the previously defined time period (* P < 0.05).
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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f6: Bystanders to fighting conspecifics versus bystanders to fighting dots.(a–e) Scatter plots (n = 23 to 24 / treatment) of individual (coloured dots) and mean (black lines): time spent in the ROI; resultant vector’s length R projected (R proj) onto 180˚; total distance covered; mean speed in ROI; and whole-body cortisol levels (n = 18 to 19 / treatment), for the bystander to video of fighting conspecifics (BVIC - dark magenta) and bystander to video of fighting dots (BVID - orange) treatments. Grey dashed line represents in (a) the value expected from a random distribution in the arena (25%); and in (b) no directionality (R proj = 0). (f) Temporal dynamics’ comparison of the mean time spent in ROI, between BVIC (dark magenta) and BVID (orange) treatments. Grey shadows represent the standard error (SEM); dashed grey horizontal line – value expected from a random distribution in the arena (25%); dashed black vertical line - video fight resolution time point (at 3.5 minutes); dashed grey area – pre-resolution (0 to 3.5 min) and post-resolution (3.5 to 7 min) analysed time intervals. (g) Bars plot of mean ± SEM comparison between BVIC and BVID treatments, before and after the fight resolution event, in the previously defined time period (* P < 0.05).
Mentions: No significance differences in the mean time spent in the ROI were detected between BVID and BVIC (Table 2) for the 30 minutes analysis, although BVID fish revealed twice the dispersion of BVIC (Fig. 6a). The BVID group resultant mean vector also oriented towards the stimulus[αg (BVID) = 176.75°, 95% C.I. = 219.87°–106.32°, Rg = 0.051, n = 24), with the distribution of the individual fish’s mean orientations deviating significantly (Moore’s test, P < 0.005) from uniformity (Supplementary Fig. 1). The value of its Rgproj onto the stimulus direction was also low and not different from BVIC (Table 2; Fig. 6b). Analysis of the total distance covered and mean speed in ROI, did not reveal significant differences to the BVIC treatment (Table 2; Fig. 6c,d). Whole-body cortisol levels were also not significantly different (Table 2; Fig. 6e).

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