A new data-mining method to search for behavioral properties that induce alignment and their involvement in social learning in medaka fish (Oryzias latipes).
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Coordinated movement in social animal groups via social learning facilitates foraging activity. Few studies have examined the behavioral cause-and-effect between group members that mediates this social learning. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We first established a behavioral paradigm for visual food learning using medaka fish and demonstrated that a single fish can learn to associate a visual cue with a food reward. Grouped medaka fish (6 fish) learn to respond to the visual cue more rapidly than a single fish, indicating that medaka fish undergo social learning. We then established a data-mining method based on Kullback-Leibler divergence (KLD) to search for candidate behaviors that induce alignment and found that high-speed movement of a focal fish tended to induce alignment of the other members locally and transiently under free-swimming conditions without presentation of a visual cue. The high-speed movement of the informed and trained fish during visual cue presentation appeared to facilitate the alignment of naïve fish in response to some visual cues, thereby mediating social learning. Compared with naïve fish, the informed fish had a higher tendency to induce alignment of other naïve fish under free-swimming conditions without visual cue presentation, suggesting the involvement of individual recognition in social learning. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Behavioral cause-and-effect studies of the high-speed movement between fish group members will contribute to our understanding of the dynamics of social behaviors. The data-mining method used in the present study is a powerful method to search for candidates factors associated with inter-individual interactions using a dataset for time-series coordinate data of individuals.
Project description:For many animals, the ability to distinguish cues indicative of predation risk from cues unrelated to predation risk is not entirely innate, but rather is learned and improved with experience. Two pathways to such learning are possible. First, an animal could initially express antipredator behaviour toward a wide range of cues and subsequently learn which of those cues are non-threatening. Alternatively, it could initially express no antipredator behaviour toward a wide range of cues and subsequently learn which of them are threatening. While the learned recognition of threatening cues may occur either through personal interaction with a cue (asocial learning) or through observation of the behaviour of social companions toward a cue (social learning), the learned recognition of non-threatening cues seems to occur exclusively through habituation, a form of asocial learning. Here, we tested whether convict cichlid fish (Amatitlaniasiquia) can socially learn to recognize visual cues in their environment as either threatening or non-threatening. We exposed juvenile convict cichlids simultaneously to a novel visual cue and one of three (visual) social cues: a social cue indicative of non-risk (the sight of conspecifics that had previously been habituated to the novel cue), a social cue indicative of predation risk (the sight of conspecifics trained to fear the novel cue), or a control treatment with no social cue. The subsequent response of focal fish, when presented with the novel cue alone, was not influenced by the social cue that they had previously witnessed. We therefore did not find evidence that convict cichlids in our study could use social learning to recognize novel visual cues as either threatening or non-threatening. We consider alternative explanations for our findings.
Project description:We studied social approach behaviour in medaka fish using three-dimensional computer graphic (3DCG) animations based on the morphological features and motion characteristics obtained from real fish. This is the first study which used 3DCG animations and examined the relative effects of morphological and motion cues on social approach behaviour in medaka. Various visual stimuli, e.g., lack of motion, lack of colour, alternation in shape, lack of locomotion, lack of body motion, and normal virtual fish in which all four features (colour, shape, locomotion, and body motion) were reconstructed, were created and presented to fish using a computer display. Medaka fish presented with normal virtual fish spent a long time in proximity to the display, whereas time spent near the display was decreased in other groups when compared with normal virtual medaka group. The results suggested that the naturalness of visual cues contributes to the induction of social approach behaviour. Differential effects between body motion and locomotion were also detected. 3DCG animations can be a useful tool to study the mechanisms of visual processing and social behaviour in medaka.
Project description:In many social fish species, visual cues play an important role in inducing shoaling behaviour. The present study is the first to examine whether and how "biological motion" depicting a moving creature by means of only a small number of isolated points induces shoaling behaviour in fish. Medaka (Oryzias latipes) were used because they are known to have high visual acuity and exhibit a strong tendency to form shoals. In experiment 1, we found that the presentation of medaka biological motion resulted in heightened shoaling behaviour when compared with that of non-biological motion (depicted by a small number of points placed at fixed distances that moved at a constant speed in a constant direction). In experiment 2, it was indicated that medaka biological motion was more effective at inducing shoaling behaviour when compared with human biological motion. In experiment 3, it was demonstrated that shoaling behaviour was largely dependent on the smoothness of the biological motion. In experiment 4, we revealed that shoaling behaviour was maximised in normal speed group and decreased in faster- and slower-than-normal speed groups. In experiment 5, it was shown that shoaling behaviour was slightly reduced when a reversed movie was presented. These results suggest that motion information extracted from conspecifics was sufficient to induce shoaling behaviour in medaka and that deviation from normal and familiar motion impeded shoaling behaviour. The naturalness of motion may be responsible for the induction of shoaling behaviour.
Project description:The ability to acquire a behavior can be facilitated by exposure to a conspecific demonstrator. Such social learning occurs under a range of conditions in nature. Here, we tested the idea that social learning can benefit from any available sensory cue, thereby permitting learning under different natural conditions. The ability of naïve gerbils to learn a sound discrimination task following 5 days of exposure adjacent to a demonstrator gerbil was tested in the presence or absence of visual cues. Naïve gerbils acquired the task significantly faster in either condition, as compared to controls. We also found that exposure to a demonstrator was more potent in facilitating learning, as compared to exposure to the sounds used to perform the discrimination task. Therefore, social learning was found to be flexible and equally efficient in the auditory or visual domains.
Project description:Visual recognition of conspecifics is necessary for a wide range of social behaviours in many animals. Medaka (Japanese rice fish), a commonly used model organism, are known to be attracted by the biological motion of conspecifics. However, biological motion is a composite of both body-shape motion and entire-field motion trajectory (i.e., posture or motion-trajectory elements, respectively), and it has not been revealed which element mediates the attractiveness. Here, we show that either posture or motion-trajectory elements alone can attract medaka. We decomposed biological motion of the medaka into the two elements and synthesized visual stimuli that contain both, either, or none of the two elements. We found that medaka were attracted by visual stimuli that contain at least one of the two elements. In the context of other known static visual information regarding the medaka, the potential multiplicity of information regarding conspecific recognition has further accumulated. Our strategy of decomposing biological motion into these partial elements is applicable to other animals, and further studies using this technique will enhance the basic understanding of visual recognition of conspecifics.
Project description:While numerous studies have demonstrated that infants and adults preferentially orient to social stimuli, it remains unclear as to what drives such preferential orienting. It has been suggested that the learned association between social cues and subsequent reward delivery might shape such social orienting. Using a novel, spontaneous indication of reinforcement learning (with the use of a gaze contingent reward-learning task), we investigated whether children and adults' orienting towards social and non-social visual cues can be elicited by the association between participants' visual attention and a rewarding outcome. Critically, we assessed whether the engaging nature of the social cues influences the process of reinforcement learning. Both children and adults learned to orient more often to the visual cues associated with reward delivery, demonstrating that cue-reward association reinforced visual orienting. More importantly, when the reward-predictive cue was social and engaging, both children and adults learned the cue-reward association faster and more efficiently than when the reward-predictive cue was social but non-engaging. These new findings indicate that social engaging cues have a positive incentive value. This could possibly be because they usually coincide with positive outcomes in real life, which could partly drive the development of social orienting.
Project description:Learning from others allows individuals to adapt rapidly to environmental change. Although conspecifics tend to be reliable models, heterospecifics with similar resource requirements may be suitable surrogates when conspecifics are few or unfamiliar with recent changes in resource availability. We tested whether Trachops cirrhosus, a gleaning bat that localizes prey using their mating calls, can learn about novel prey from conspecifics and the sympatric bat Lophostoma silvicolum. Specifically, we compared the rate for naïve T. cirrhosus to learn an unfamiliar tone from either a trained conspecific or heterospecific alone through trial and error or through social facilitation. T. cirrhosus learned this novel cue from L. silvicolum as quickly as from conspecifics. This is the first demonstration of social learning of a novel acoustic cue in bats and suggests that heterospecific learning may occur in nature. We propose that auditory-based social learning may help bats learn about unfamiliar prey and facilitate their adaptive radiation.
Project description:Determining individual-level interactions that govern highly coordinated motion in animal groups or cellular aggregates has been a long-standing challenge, central to understanding the mechanisms and evolution of collective behavior. Numerous models have been proposed, many of which display realistic-looking dynamics, but nonetheless rely on untested assumptions about how individuals integrate information to guide movement. Here we infer behavioral rules directly from experimental data. We begin by analyzing trajectories of golden shiners (Notemigonus crysoleucas) swimming in two-fish and three-fish shoals to map the mean effective forces as a function of fish positions and velocities. Speeding and turning responses are dynamically modulated and clearly delineated. Speed regulation is a dominant component of how fish interact, and changes in speed are transmitted to those both behind and ahead. Alignment emerges from attraction and repulsion, and fish tend to copy directional changes made by those ahead. We find no evidence for explicit matching of body orientation. By comparing data from two-fish and three-fish shoals, we challenge the standard assumption, ubiquitous in physics-inspired models of collective behavior, that individual motion results from averaging responses to each neighbor considered separately; three-body interactions make a substantial contribution to fish dynamics. However, pairwise interactions qualitatively capture the correct spatial interaction structure in small groups, and this structure persists in larger groups of 10 and 30 fish. The interactions revealed here may help account for the rapid changes in speed and direction that enable real animal groups to stay cohesive and amplify important social information.
Project description:To cope with seasonal changes in the environment, organisms adapt their physiology and behavior. Although color perception varies among seasons, the underlying molecular basis and its physiological significance remain unclear. Here we show that dynamic plasticity in phototransduction regulates seasonal changes in color perception in medaka fish. Medaka are active and exhibit clear phototaxis in conditions simulating summer, but remain at the bottom of the tank and fail to exhibit phototaxis in conditions simulating winter. Mate preference tests using virtual fish created with computer graphics demonstrate that medaka are more attracted to orange-red-colored model fish in summer than in winter. Transcriptome analysis of the eye reveals dynamic seasonal changes in the expression of genes encoding photopigments and their downstream pathways. Behavioral analysis of photopigment-null fish shows significant differences from wild type, suggesting that plasticity in color perception is crucial for the emergence of seasonally regulated behaviors.Animal coloration and behavior can change seasonally, but it is unclear if visual sensitivity to color shifts as well. Here, Shimmura et al. show that medaka undergo seasonal behavioral change accompanied by altered expression of opsin genes, resulting in reduced visual sensitivity to mates during winter-like conditions.
Project description:The human ability to use different tools demonstrates our capability of forming and maintaining multiple, context-specific motor memories. Experimentally, this has been investigated in dual adaptation, where participants adjust their reaching movements to opposing visuomotor transformations. Adaptation in these paradigms occurs by distinct processes, such as strategies for each transformation or the implicit acquisition of distinct visuomotor mappings. Although distinct, transformation-dependent aftereffects have been interpreted as support for the latter, they could reflect adaptation of a single visuomotor map, which is locally adjusted in different regions of the workspace. Indeed, recent studies suggest that explicit aiming strategies direct where in the workspace implicit adaptation occurs, thus potentially serving as a cue to enable dual adaptation. Disentangling these possibilities is critical to understanding how humans acquire and maintain motor memories for different skills and tools. We therefore investigated generalization of explicit and implicit adaptation to untrained movement directions after participants practiced two opposing cursor rotations, which were associated with the visual display being presented in the left or right half of the screen. Whereas participants learned to compensate for opposing rotations by explicit strategies specific to this visual workspace cue, aftereffects were not cue sensitive. Instead, aftereffects displayed bimodal generalization patterns that appeared to reflect locally limited learning of both transformations. By varying target arrangements and instructions, we show that these patterns are consistent with implicit adaptation that generalizes locally around movement plans associated with opposing visuomotor transformations. Our findings show that strategies can shape implicit adaptation in a complex manner. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Visuomotor dual adaptation experiments have identified contextual cues that enable learning of separate visuomotor mappings, but the underlying representations of learning are unclear. We report that visual workspace separation as a contextual cue enables the compensation of opposing cursor rotations by a combination of explicit and implicit processes: Learners developed context-dependent explicit aiming strategies, whereas an implicit visuomotor map represented dual adaptation independent from arbitrary context cues by local adaptation around the explicit movement plan.