Filial imprinting has become a model for understanding memory, learning and social behaviour in neonate animals. This mechanism allows the youngs of precocial bird species to learn the characteristics of conspicuous visual stimuli and display affiliative response to them. Although longer exposures to an object produce stronger preferences for it afterwards, this relation is not linear. Sometimes, chicks even prefer to approach novel rather than familiar objects. To date, little is known about how filial preferences develop across time. This study aimed to investigate filial preferences for familiar and novel imprinting objects over time. After hatching, chicks were individually placed in an arena where stimuli were displayed on two opposite screens. Using an automated setup, the duration of exposure and the type of stimuli were manipulated while the time spent at the imprinting stimulus was monitored across 6 days. We showed that prolonged exposure (3 days vs 1 day) to a stimulus produced robust filial imprinting preferences. Interestingly, with a shorter exposure (1 day), animals re-evaluated their filial preferences in functions of their spontaneous preferences and past experiences. Our study suggests that predispositions influence learning when the imprinting memories are not fully consolidated, driving animal preferences toward more predisposed stimuli.

Stability and individual variability of social attachment in imprinting / Lemaire, Bastien S.; Rucco, Daniele; Josserand, Mathilde; Vallortigara, Giorgio; Versace, Elisabetta. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - ELETTRONICO. - 11:1(2021), pp. 7914.1-7914.12. [10.1038/s41598-021-86989-3]

Stability and individual variability of social attachment in imprinting

Vallortigara, Giorgio;Versace, Elisabetta
2021-01-01

Abstract

Filial imprinting has become a model for understanding memory, learning and social behaviour in neonate animals. This mechanism allows the youngs of precocial bird species to learn the characteristics of conspicuous visual stimuli and display affiliative response to them. Although longer exposures to an object produce stronger preferences for it afterwards, this relation is not linear. Sometimes, chicks even prefer to approach novel rather than familiar objects. To date, little is known about how filial preferences develop across time. This study aimed to investigate filial preferences for familiar and novel imprinting objects over time. After hatching, chicks were individually placed in an arena where stimuli were displayed on two opposite screens. Using an automated setup, the duration of exposure and the type of stimuli were manipulated while the time spent at the imprinting stimulus was monitored across 6 days. We showed that prolonged exposure (3 days vs 1 day) to a stimulus produced robust filial imprinting preferences. Interestingly, with a shorter exposure (1 day), animals re-evaluated their filial preferences in functions of their spontaneous preferences and past experiences. Our study suggests that predispositions influence learning when the imprinting memories are not fully consolidated, driving animal preferences toward more predisposed stimuli.
2021
1
Lemaire, Bastien S.; Rucco, Daniele; Josserand, Mathilde; Vallortigara, Giorgio; Versace, Elisabetta
Stability and individual variability of social attachment in imprinting / Lemaire, Bastien S.; Rucco, Daniele; Josserand, Mathilde; Vallortigara, Giorgio; Versace, Elisabetta. - In: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. - ISSN 2045-2322. - ELETTRONICO. - 11:1(2021), pp. 7914.1-7914.12. [10.1038/s41598-021-86989-3]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/322067
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