Reward type influences performance and search structure of an omnivorous bird in an open-field maze

Danielle Sulikowski, Darren Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Open-field mazes are routinely used to study the spatial cognitive abilities of birds and are often implicitly assumed to be suitable tests of generic spatial memory ability. In recent years there has been extensive research motivated by considerations of an animals' ecology, demonstrating potential examples of specialisations of spatial cognition, as a result of foraging niche. The study reported here demonstrates differences in maze performance as a function of reward type (nectar and invertebrates) that can be predicted from the natural distributions of these rewards. As well as specific implications for the nature of spatial memory specialisation in this species, the results hold more general implications for the use of open-field mazes as tools for measuring and comparing spatial memory ability between species.

LanguageEnglish
Pages31-35
Number of pages5
JournalBehavioural Processes
Volume83
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010

Fingerprint

Reward
Birds
birds
Plant Nectar
animal ecology
Invertebrates
Ecology
nectar
cognition
Cognition
geographical distribution
niches
invertebrates
foraging
Research
Spatial Navigation
Spatial Memory
testing

Keywords

  • Foraging ecology
  • Meliphagidae
  • Open-field maze
  • Spatial learning

Cite this

Sulikowski, Danielle ; Burke, Darren. / Reward type influences performance and search structure of an omnivorous bird in an open-field maze. In: Behavioural Processes. 2010 ; Vol. 83, No. 1. pp. 31-35.
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Reward type influences performance and search structure of an omnivorous bird in an open-field maze. / Sulikowski, Danielle; Burke, Darren.

In: Behavioural Processes, Vol. 83, No. 1, 01.2010, p. 31-35.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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