A novel continuous inhibitory-control task: variation in individual performance by young pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) - journal article
van Horik, JO
© The Author(s) 2017. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Inhibitory control enables subjects to quickly react to unexpectedly changing external demands. We assessed the ability of young (8 weeks old) pheasants Phasianus colchicus to exert inhibitory control in a novel response-inhibition task that required subjects to adjust their movement in space in pursuit of a reward across changing target locations. The difference in latencies between trials in which the target location did and did not change, the distance travelled towards the initially indicated location after a change occurred, and the change-signal reaction time provided a consistent measure that could be indicative of a pheasant’s inhibitory control. Between individuals, there was a great variability in these measures; these differences were not correlated with motivation either to access the reward or participate in the test. However, individuals that were slower to reach rewards in trials when the target did not change exhibited evidence of stronger inhibitory control, as did males and small individuals. This novel test paradigm offers a potential assay of inhibitory control that utilises a natural feature of an animal’s behavioural repertoire, likely common to a wide range of species, specifically their ability to rapidly alter their trajectory when reward locations switch.
FV was supported by a starting grant from the European Research Council (ERC; Grant Agreement No. 312445), and a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. JRM, PL, EJGL, MAW and JOvH were supported by a consolidator grant to JRM from the European Research Council (ERC; Grant Agreement No. 616474). SRP was supported by a grant from the University of Exeter Research Fund to FV.
This is the final version of the article. Available from Springer Verlag via the DOI in this record.
The dataset associated with this article is in ORE: http://hdl.handle.net/10871/28542
Published online 9 August 2017