Lightning talk - Room C (12:15 P.M.)

12. Study of Social Foraging Situations Using a 3D Multiplayer Videogame

Laurent Avila-Chauvet-Technological Institute of Sonora, Diana Mejía Cruz-Technological Institute of Sonora

In social foraging situations, it has been observed that some members of the group tend to search their own food sources or release the conditions to access food sources (Producers), while others tend to join previously discovered food sources (Scroungers). The Producer-Scrounger Game describes the optimal proportion of producers and scroungers within a group. We developed a 3D Multiplayer Videogame that simulated 1) the properties of a habitat (Patch and transition zones) and 2) the components of a foraging episode (search, choice, identification, consumption, and manipulation). During the task, participants explored and exploited the virtual habitat by moving an agent with a joystick. We tested four conditions that varied in the quantity and probability of food units within the patch zones. In addition, each of the participants was exposed to different risk and impulsivity tests (BART, IGT, Delay Discounting). The results show that participants tended to produce more when the probability of find resources was greater. Concerning impulsivity tests, we observed a positive correlation between BART risk-taking behavior and the proportion of scrounger responses. The AUC of the Delay Discounting task was positively correlated with the number of food units obtained by the participants. The relationship between individual characteristics and the execution of scrounger responses in the developed video game is discussed

13. Evidence of social inference in rats

Lin Peng-Kanazawa University, Tohru Taniuchi-Kanazawa University

The present study examined social inference ability in rats. First, rats were trained on three daily trials to learn the type of food sites. On the first trial, rats were allowed to eat at four food sites in an experimental field. On the second and third trials, two food sites were replenished with foods (replenished sites) but the other two sites were not (depleted sites). All rats learned the type of the food sites and came to visit the replenished sites earlier than the depleted sites on the second and third trials. In the test conducted after the training, another demonstrator, i.e., another rat or another mouse, was shown to the subjects to give premise information in a social inference situation. That is, the demonstrator, a rat or a mouse, visited one of the two sites of either site type first, and then a subject rat was given a choice between the two sites of the same site type; the site the demonstrator visited and the unvisited one. When other rats served as the demonstrator, rats did not show any sign of social inference; they had a tendency to follow the demonstrator regardless of the type of the food sites. In contrast, subject rats had a significant tendency to avoid the depleted site visited by a mouse demonstrator and such a tendency was not observed for the replenished sites. These results suggest rats can make some kind of social inference by combining information about behavior of other animals and type of food sites.

14. Helping-like behavior of laboratory rats is not modulated by social bonds, but rather associated with preceding interactions, age and sex

Shiomi Hakataya-The University of Tokyo, WINGS-ABC, Noriko Katsu-The University of Tokyo, JSPS, Kazuo Okanoya-The University of Tokyo

Rats are known for their high sociality and demonstrate various prosocial behaviors. In groups of such gregarious animals, individuals may form long-term selective amicability called social bonds. Thus, to understand the dynamics of prosocial interactions in animal groups, it is important to consider the interaction between patterns of social relationship and feasibility of prosocial behavior. In line with this, we investigated whether occurrence of prosocial behavior is affected by strength of social relationships among group members or by other possible factors such as age. We also examined whether exchange of prosocial behaviors can alter social interaction patterns. In the experiment, we analyzed social relationships among group members before and after the prosocial behavior experiment to test whether experience of helping others and being helped affect the social interaction patterns among cagemates. We also measured various behavioral indices during helping behavior experiment to check if they influenced occurrence of helping behavior. As a result, 13 out of 28 rats acquired helping. Also, occurrence of prosocial behavior was not affected by strength of social relationship, nor did exchange of prosocial behavior enhance social interactions between subjects. However, we found that young females tended to be helpers and that rats learned to perform helping-like behaviors when cagemates were able to draw the helpers’ attention. As above, helping-like behavior of rats is not modulated by social bonds, but rather associated with preceding interactions, age and sex. These results indicate prosociality of rats is governed by generalized reciprocity. Supported by JSPS #4903, 17H06380 to KO.

15. Identifications of mirror neurons related with singing and listening in a songbird: analyses using temporal difference of gene expression

Takafumi Iizuka-Department of Life Science, Graduate School of Arts and Science, The University of Tokyo, Chihiro Mori-Faculty of Pharma Science, Teikyo University, Kazuo Okanoya-Department of Life Science, Graduate School of Arts and Science, The University of Tokyo.

Songbirds learn their songs by listening their conspecific songs and by practicing them repeatedly. To enable vocal learning in songbirds, integration between the auditory and motor representations of the vocalizations must be established in the brain. It is intriguing that where and how these representations are integrated in the brain. The forebrain nucleus HVC is a part of the premotor circuit necessary for production and perception of learned vocalizations in songbirds. Recent electrophysiological studies revealed that HVC neurons that project to the part of the avian basal ganglia (AreaX) important for song learning are activated both when birds sing and also when they listen their own songs. Here we attempt to identify neurons activated both during singing and listening in the whole brain using a molecular biological approach. We investigated the expression of activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc) in several conditions (listening, singing, singing and listening, etc.), because its subcellular localization permits analysis of two experiences separated in time within the same brain cells. Neurons expressing Arc in both cytoplasm and nucleus can be determined as song-related auditory-motor neurons, or mirror neurons. We found such neurons in HVC. Currently we are testing another set of birds with different condition to examine the distribution of active cell populations not only in HVC but other brain areas associated with vocal learning and production. The present procedure should be useful in relating behavior and neural activity in songbirds. (Supported by the Mitsubishi Foundation, JSPS #4903 and #17H06380 to K.O)

16. Conjunction bias in rats.

Sonya Ashikyan, Valeria V. Gonzalez, Sowgol Sadeghi & Aaron Blaisdell – Department of Psychology, University of California Los Angeles

Previous research has found that rats can retrieve the representation of an absent stimulus. However, the psychological basis of this representation is still unknown. This experiment investigated the nature of this representation. During training, rats received A-, AX+, B+, and BY- trials, where A/B were sounds and X/Y were visual cues, both presented in the same bulb. +/ – indicate reward or no reward, respectively. During test, we present A and B on separate test trials with the light cue on which X and Y had been presented during training as either un-occluded or occluded (a metal piece covered the light bulb). Interesting, rats behaved as if the compound AX+ and BY- were presented when the light was occluded, not only revealing the formation of an image in the animal’s ‘mind’, but an example of conjunction bias: two events happening in conjunction is more probable than one of them happening alone, even when the frequency of compound/element and reinforced/unreinforced trials was identical during training.