Daisley J N, Rosa-Salva O, Regolin L, Vallortigara G, 2007, "Lateralization of social learning in the domestic chick (Gallus gallus)" Perception 36 ECVP Abstract Supplement
Lateralization of social learning in the domestic chick (Gallus gallus)
J N Daisley, O Rosa-Salva, L Regolin, G Vallortigara
Social learning allows individuals to acquire information about their environment whilst reducing the risks associated with engaging in novel experiences. At least some social behaviours (social recognition and other skills involved in establishing hierarchies) are influenced by cerebral lateralization (eg Deng and Rogers, 2002 Animal Behaviour 63 697 - 706). Because of the asymmetric positioning of the embryos, light stimulation of eggs before hatching is giving rise to behavioural asymmetries in domestic chicks for several visual tasks. We presented 3-day old chicks, coming from eggs maintained in the light ('lateralized') or in the dark ('non-lateralized') with a social demonstrator. This was a motorized arm used to represent the hen's pecking motion which is spontaneously imitated by chicks (ie 'tidbitting'). The demonstrator signalled one bead as the target within two differently coloured beads. The chicks' response, ie pecks at the target as compared to the non-target beads, demonstrated that such a discrimination task was differently acquired by lateralized as compared to non-lateralized birds. Further experiments are required to better clarify the function of this lateralized behaviour.
[Supported by EU Project 'Evolution and Development of Cognitive, Behavioural and Neural Lateralization'.]
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