Use of ordinal information by fish.

Abstract:

:Mammals and birds can process ordinal numerical information which can be used, for instance, for recognising an object on the basis of its position in a sequence of similar objects. Recent studies have shown that teleost fish possess numerical abilities comparable to those of other vertebrates, but it is unknown if they can also learn ordinal numerical relations. Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) learned to recognise the 3(rd) feeder in a row of 8 identical ones even when inter-feeder distance and feeder positions were varied among trials to prevent the use of any spatial information. To assess whether guppies spontaneously use ordinal or spatial information when both are simultaneously available, fish were then trained with constant feeder positions and inter-feeder distance. In probe trials where these two sources of information were contrasted, the subjects selected the correct ordinal position significantly more often than the original spatial position, indicating that the former was preferentially encoded during training. Finally, a comparison between subjects trained on the 3(rd) and the 5(th) position revealed that guppies can also learn the latter discrimination, but the larger error rate observed in this case suggests that 5 is close to the upper limit of discrimination in guppies.

journal_name

Sci Rep

journal_title

Scientific reports

authors

Petrazzini ME,Lucon-Xiccato T,Agrillo C,Bisazza A

doi

10.1038/srep15497

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2015-10-26 00:00:00

pages

15497

issn

2045-2322

pii

srep15497

journal_volume

5

pub_type

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