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No evidence for memory interference across sessions in food hoarding marsh tits Poecile palustris under laboratory conditions.

Urhan, Utku LU and Brodin, Anders LU (2015) In Animal Cognition 18(3). p.649-656
Abstract
Scatter hoarding birds are known for their accurate spatial memory. In a previous experiment, we tested the retrieval accuracy in marsh tits in a typical laboratory set-up for this species. We also tested the performance of humans in this experimental set-up. Somewhat unexpectedly, humans performed much better than marsh tits. In the first five attempts, humans relocated almost 90 % of the caches they had hidden 5 h earlier. Marsh tits only relocated 25 % in the first five attempts and just above 40 % in the first ten attempts. Typically, in this type of experiment, the birds will be caching and retrieving many times in the same sites in the same experimental room. This is very different from the conditions in nature where hoarding parids... (More)
Scatter hoarding birds are known for their accurate spatial memory. In a previous experiment, we tested the retrieval accuracy in marsh tits in a typical laboratory set-up for this species. We also tested the performance of humans in this experimental set-up. Somewhat unexpectedly, humans performed much better than marsh tits. In the first five attempts, humans relocated almost 90 % of the caches they had hidden 5 h earlier. Marsh tits only relocated 25 % in the first five attempts and just above 40 % in the first ten attempts. Typically, in this type of experiment, the birds will be caching and retrieving many times in the same sites in the same experimental room. This is very different from the conditions in nature where hoarding parids only cache once in a caching site. Hence, it is possible that memories from previous sessions will disturb the formation of new memories. If there is such proactive interference, the prediction is that success should decay over sessions. Here, we have designed an experiment to investigate whether there is such memory interference in this type of experiment. We allowed marsh tits and humans to cache and retrieve in three repeated sessions without prior experience of the arena. The performance did not change over sessions, and on average, marsh tits correctly visited around 25 % of the caches in the first five attempts. The corresponding success in humans was constant across sessions, and it was around 90 % on average. We conclude that the somewhat poor performance of the marsh tits did not depend on proactive memory interference. We also discuss other possible reasons for why marsh tits in general do not perform better in laboratory experiments. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Animal Cognition
volume
18
issue
3
pages
649 - 656
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • pmid:25573290
  • wos:000352848200007
  • scopus:84939974111
ISSN
1435-9456
DOI
10.1007/s10071-015-0833-9
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
48533906-3753-4b35-8a16-bf18c2a26eb8 (old id 5040932)
date added to LUP
2015-02-26 13:40:11
date last changed
2017-01-22 03:09:41
@article{48533906-3753-4b35-8a16-bf18c2a26eb8,
  abstract     = {Scatter hoarding birds are known for their accurate spatial memory. In a previous experiment, we tested the retrieval accuracy in marsh tits in a typical laboratory set-up for this species. We also tested the performance of humans in this experimental set-up. Somewhat unexpectedly, humans performed much better than marsh tits. In the first five attempts, humans relocated almost 90 % of the caches they had hidden 5 h earlier. Marsh tits only relocated 25 % in the first five attempts and just above 40 % in the first ten attempts. Typically, in this type of experiment, the birds will be caching and retrieving many times in the same sites in the same experimental room. This is very different from the conditions in nature where hoarding parids only cache once in a caching site. Hence, it is possible that memories from previous sessions will disturb the formation of new memories. If there is such proactive interference, the prediction is that success should decay over sessions. Here, we have designed an experiment to investigate whether there is such memory interference in this type of experiment. We allowed marsh tits and humans to cache and retrieve in three repeated sessions without prior experience of the arena. The performance did not change over sessions, and on average, marsh tits correctly visited around 25 % of the caches in the first five attempts. The corresponding success in humans was constant across sessions, and it was around 90 % on average. We conclude that the somewhat poor performance of the marsh tits did not depend on proactive memory interference. We also discuss other possible reasons for why marsh tits in general do not perform better in laboratory experiments.},
  author       = {Urhan, Utku and Brodin, Anders},
  issn         = {1435-9456},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {649--656},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Animal Cognition},
  title        = {No evidence for memory interference across sessions in food hoarding marsh tits Poecile palustris under laboratory conditions.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10071-015-0833-9},
  volume       = {18},
  year         = {2015},
}