Effects of predation pressure on the cognitive ability of the poeciliid Brachyraphis episcopi

Culum Brown, Victoria Ann Braithwaite-Read

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

96 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Variable levels of predation pressure are known to have significant impacts on the evolutionary ecology of different populations and can affect life-history traits, behavior, and morphology. To date, no studies have directly investigated the impact of predation pressure on cognitive ability. Here we use a system of replicate rivers, each with sites of high- and low-predation pressure, to investigate how this ecological variable affects learning ability in a tropical poeciliid, Brachyraphis episcopi. We used a spatial task to assess the cognitive ability of eight populations from four independent streams (four high- and four low-predation populations). The fish were required to locate a foraging patch in one of four compartments by utilizing spatial cues. Fish from areas of low-predation pressure had shorter foraging latencies, entered fewer compartments before discovering the reward patch and navigated more actively within the maze, than fish from high-predation sites. The difference in performance is discussed with reference to forage patch predictability, inter- and intraspecific foraging competition, geographic variation in predation pressure, boldness-shyness traits, and brain lateralization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-487
Number of pages6
JournalBehavioral Ecology
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

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Aptitude
predation
Pressure
Fishes
Shyness
Population
foraging
Ecology
Reward
Rivers
fish
Cues
effect
Learning
population ecology
geographical variation
life history trait
forage
Brain
brain

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Brown, Culum ; Braithwaite-Read, Victoria Ann. / Effects of predation pressure on the cognitive ability of the poeciliid Brachyraphis episcopi. In: Behavioral Ecology. 2005 ; Vol. 16, No. 2. pp. 482-487.
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Effects of predation pressure on the cognitive ability of the poeciliid Brachyraphis episcopi. / Brown, Culum; Braithwaite-Read, Victoria Ann.

In: Behavioral Ecology, Vol. 16, No. 2, 01.01.2005, p. 482-487.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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