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Author Saunders, F.C.; McElligott, A.G.; Safi, K.; Hayden, T.J. url  doi
openurl 
  Title Mating tactics of male feral goats (Capra hircus): risks and benefits Type
  Year 2005 Publication Acta Ethol Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume 8 Issue Pages  
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  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Saunders2005 Serial 6252  
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Author Liedtke, J.; Schneider, J.M. url  doi
openurl 
  Title Social makes smart: rearing conditions affect learning and social behaviour in jumping spiders Type
  Year 2017 Publication Animal Cognition Abbreviated Journal Anim. Cogn.  
  Volume 20 Issue 6 Pages 1093-1106  
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  Abstract There is a long-standing debate as to whether social or physical environmental aspects drive the evolution and development of cognitive abilities. Surprisingly few studies make use of developmental plasticity to compare the effects of these two domains during development on behaviour later in life. Here, we present rearing effects on the development of learning abilities and social behaviour in the jumping spider Marpissa muscosa. These spiders are ideally suited for this purpose because they possess the ability to learn and can be reared in groups but also in isolation without added stress. This is a critical but rarely met requirement for experimentally varying the social environment to test its impact on cognition. We split broods of spiders and reared them either in a physically or in a socially enriched environment. A third group kept under completely deprived conditions served as a 'no-enrichment' control. We tested the spiders' learning abilities by using a modified T-maze. Social behaviour was investigated by confronting spiders with their own mirror image. Results show that spiders reared in groups outperform their conspecifics from the control, i.e. 'no-enrichment', group in both tasks. Physical enrichment did not lead to such an increased performance. We therefore tentatively suggest that growing up in contact with conspecifics induces the development of cognitive abilities in this species.  
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  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Liedtke2017 Serial 6191  
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Author Riley, J.L.; Noble, D.W.A.; Byrne, R.W.; Whiting, M.J. url  doi
openurl 
  Title Does social environment influence learning ability in a family-living lizard? Type
  Year 2017 Publication Animal Cognition Abbreviated Journal Anim. Cogn.  
  Volume 20 Issue 3 Pages 449-458  
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  Abstract Early developmental environment can have profound effects on individual physiology, behaviour, and learning. In birds and mammals, social isolation during development is known to negatively affect learning ability; yet in other taxa, like reptiles, the effect of social isolation during development on learning ability is unknown. We investigated how social environment affects learning ability in the family-living tree skink (Egernia striolata). We hypothesized that early social environment shapes cognitive development in skinks and predicted that skinks raised in social isolation would have reduced learning ability compared to skinks raised socially. Offspring were separated at birth into two rearing treatments: (1) raised alone or (2) in a pair. After 1 year, we quantified spatial learning ability of skinks in these rearing treatments (N = 14 solitary, 14 social). We found no effect of rearing treatment on learning ability. The number of skinks to successfully learn the task, the number of trials taken to learn the task, the latency to perform the task, and the number of errors in each trial did not differ between isolated and socially reared skinks. Our results were unexpected, yet the facultative nature of this species' social system may result in a reduced effect of social isolation on behaviour when compared to species with obligate sociality. Overall, our findings do not provide evidence that social environment affects development of spatial learning ability in this family-living lizard.  
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  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Riley2017 Serial 6190  
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Author Whalen, A.; Cownden, D.; Laland, K. url  doi
openurl 
  Title The learning of action sequences through social transmission Type
  Year 2015 Publication Animal Cognition Abbreviated Journal Anim. Cogn.  
  Volume 18 Issue 5 Pages 1093-1103  
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  Abstract Previous empirical work on animal social learning has found that many species lack the ability to learn entire action sequences solely through reliance on social information. Conversely, acquiring action sequences through asocial learning can be difficult due to the large number of potential sequences arising from even a small number of base actions. In spite of this, several studies report that some primates use action sequences in the wild. We investigate how social information can be integrated with asocial learning to facilitate the learning of action sequences. We formalize this problem by examining how learners using temporal difference learning, a widely applicable model of reinforcement learning, can combine social cues with their own experiences to acquire action sequences. The learning problem is modeled as a Markov decision process. The learning of nettle processing by mountain gorillas serves as a focal example. Through simulations, we find that the social facilitation of component actions can combine with individual learning to facilitate the acquisition of action sequences. Our analysis illustrates that how even simple forms of social learning, combined with asocial learning, generate substantially faster learning of action sequences compared to asocial processes alone, and that the benefits of social information increase with the length of the action sequence and the number of base actions.  
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  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Whalen2015 Serial 6192  
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Author Kis, A.; Huber, L.; Wilkinson, A. url  doi
openurl 
  Title Social learning by imitation in a reptile (Pogona vitticeps) Type
  Year 2015 Publication Animal Cognition Abbreviated Journal Anim.Cogn.  
  Volume 18 Issue 1 Pages 325-331  
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  Abstract The ability to learn through imitation is thought to be the basis of cultural transmission and was long considered a distinctive characteristic of humans. There is now evidence that both mammals and birds are capable of imitation. However, nothing is known about these abilities in the third amniotic class--reptiles. Here, we use a bidirectional control procedure to show that a reptile species, the bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps), is capable of social learning that cannot be explained by simple mechanisms such as local enhancement or goal emulation. Subjects in the experimental group opened a trap door to the side that had been demonstrated, while subjects in the ghost control group, who observed the door move without the intervention of a conspecific, were unsuccessful. This, together with differences in behaviour between experimental and control groups, provides compelling evidence that reptiles possess cognitive abilities that are comparable to those observed in mammals and birds and suggests that learning by imitation is likely to be based on ancient mechanisms.  
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  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Kis2015 Serial 6193  
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Author Brust, V.; Guenther, A. url  doi
openurl 
  Title Domestication effects on behavioural traits and learning performance: comparing wild cavies to guinea pigs Type
  Year 2015 Publication Animal Cognition Abbreviated Journal Anim. Cogn.  
  Volume 18 Issue 1 Pages 99-109  
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  Abstract The domestication process leads to a change in behavioural traits, usually towards individuals that are less attentive to changes in their environment and less aggressive. Empirical evidence for a difference in cognitive performance, however, is scarce. Recently, a functional linkage between an individual's behaviour and cognitive performance has been proposed in the framework of animal personalities via a shared risk-reward trade-off. Following this assumption, bolder and more aggressive animals (usually the wild form) should learn faster. Differences in behaviour may arise during ontogeny due to individual experiences or represent adaptations that occurred over the course of evolution. Both might singly or taken together account for differences in cognitive performance between wild and domestic lineages. To test for such possible linkages, we compared wild cavies and domestic guinea pigs, both kept in a university stock for more than 30 years under highly comparable conditions. Animals were tested in three behavioural tests as well as for initial and reversal learning performance. Guinea pigs were less bold and aggressive than their wild congeners, but learnt an association faster. Additionally, the personality structure was altered during the domestication process. The most likely explanation for these findings is that a shift in behavioural traits and their connectivity led to an altered cognitive performance. A functional linkage between behavioural and cognitive traits seems to exist in the proposed way only under natural selection, but not in animals that have been selected artificially over centuries.  
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  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Brust2015 Serial 6194  
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Author Gabor, V.; Gerken, M. url  doi
openurl 
  Title Shetland ponies (Equus caballus) show quantity discrimination in a matching-to-sample design Type
  Year 2014 Publication Animal Cognition Abbreviated Journal Anim. Cogn.  
  Volume 17 Issue 6 Pages 1233-1243  
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  Abstract Numerical competence is one of the aspects of animal cognition with a long history of research interest, but few results are available for the horse. In the present study, we investigated the ability of three Shetland ponies to discriminate between different quantities of geometric symbols presented on a computer screen in a matching-to-sample arrangement. In Experiment 1, the ponies had to relate two similar quantities to another, paired in contrasts (1 vs. 2, 3 vs. 4 and 4 vs. 5) of the same stimulus (dot). Specific pairs of quantities (all differing by one) of up to five different geometrical symbols were displayed in Experiment 2. In each session, both quantities (more and less) were used as sample in such a way that each of the two quantities presented in one test served as positive and as negative stimulus, respectively. The three Shetland ponies were able to discriminate between the given quantities of dots by showing more than 80 % correct responses in two consecutive sessions. Only one of the ponies distinguished different shapes of geometric symbols at a level of 4 versus 5 items. The results show that all ponies were capable of visual quantity discrimination in the present matching-to-sample design, but task solving seemed more difficult when quantities were composed of heterogeneous stimuli. The present results confirm our hypothesis that the ponies based their decision on the matching concept of sameness and were not biased by a spontaneous preference for higher quantities.  
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  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Gabor2014 Serial 6174  
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Author Range, F.; Möslinger, H.; Virányi, Z. url  doi
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  Title Domestication has not affected the understanding of means-end connections in dogs Type
  Year 2012 Publication Anim Cogn Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume 15 Issue Pages  
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  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Range2012 Serial 6322  
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Author Pérez-Barbería, F.J.; Gordon, I.J. url  doi
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  Title Gregariousness increases brain size in ungulates Type
  Year 2005 Publication Oecologia Abbreviated Journal  
  Volume 145 Issue Pages  
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  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Pérez-Barbería2005 Serial 6258  
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Author Kruska, D. url  doi
openurl 
  Title Mammalian domestication and its effect on brain structure and behavior Type
  Year 1988 Publication Intelligence and Evolutionary Biology Abbreviated Journal  
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  Publisher Springer-Verlag Place of Publication New York Editor Jerison, H.J.; Jerison, I.  
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  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Kruska1988 Serial 6232  
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