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Using an abstract geometry in virtual reality to explore choice behaviour: visual flicker preferences in honeybees

Van De Poll, Matthew N; Zajaczkowski, Esmi L; Taylor, Gavin LU ; Srinivasan, Mandyam V and van Swinderen, Bruno (2015) In Journal of Experimental Biology 218(21). p.3448-3460
Abstract
Closed-loop paradigms provide an effective approach to studying visual choice behaviour and attention in small animals. Different flying and walking paradigms have been developed to investigate behavioural and neuronal responses to competing stimuli in insects such as bees and flies. However, the variety of stimulus choices that can be presented over one experiment is often limited. Current choice paradigms are mostly constrained as single binary choice scenarios that are influenced by the linear structure of classical conditioning paradigms. Here, we present a novel behavioural choice paradigm that allows animals to explore a closed geometry of interconnected binary choices by repeatedly selecting among competing objects, thereby... (More)
Closed-loop paradigms provide an effective approach to studying visual choice behaviour and attention in small animals. Different flying and walking paradigms have been developed to investigate behavioural and neuronal responses to competing stimuli in insects such as bees and flies. However, the variety of stimulus choices that can be presented over one experiment is often limited. Current choice paradigms are mostly constrained as single binary choice scenarios that are influenced by the linear structure of classical conditioning paradigms. Here, we present a novel behavioural choice paradigm that allows animals to explore a closed geometry of interconnected binary choices by repeatedly selecting among competing objects, thereby revealing stimulus preferences in an historical context. We employed our novel paradigm to investigate visual flicker preferences in honeybees (Apis mellifera), and found significant preferences for 20-25Hz flicker and avoidance of higher (50-100Hz) and lower (2-4Hz) flicker frequencies. Similar results were found when bees were presented with three simultaneous choices instead of two, and when they were given the chance to select previously rejected choices. Our results show that honeybees can discriminate among different flicker frequencies, and that their visual preferences are persistent even under different experimental conditions. Interestingly, avoided stimuli were more attractive if they were novel, suggesting that novelty salience can override innate preferences. Our recursive virtual reality environment provides a new approach to studying visual discrimination and choice behaviour in behaving animals. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Experimental Biology
volume
218
issue
21
pages
3448 - 3460
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • wos:000364791100023
  • scopus:84962792130
ISSN
1477-9145
DOI
10.1242/jeb.125138
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b0c869fc-fa5d-429e-bf9f-f82f0e8d21d8 (old id 8054666)
date added to LUP
2015-11-11 09:12:08
date last changed
2017-10-22 03:15:12
@article{b0c869fc-fa5d-429e-bf9f-f82f0e8d21d8,
  abstract     = {Closed-loop paradigms provide an effective approach to studying visual choice behaviour and attention in small animals. Different flying and walking paradigms have been developed to investigate behavioural and neuronal responses to competing stimuli in insects such as bees and flies. However, the variety of stimulus choices that can be presented over one experiment is often limited. Current choice paradigms are mostly constrained as single binary choice scenarios that are influenced by the linear structure of classical conditioning paradigms. Here, we present a novel behavioural choice paradigm that allows animals to explore a closed geometry of interconnected binary choices by repeatedly selecting among competing objects, thereby revealing stimulus preferences in an historical context. We employed our novel paradigm to investigate visual flicker preferences in honeybees (Apis mellifera), and found significant preferences for 20-25Hz flicker and avoidance of higher (50-100Hz) and lower (2-4Hz) flicker frequencies. Similar results were found when bees were presented with three simultaneous choices instead of two, and when they were given the chance to select previously rejected choices. Our results show that honeybees can discriminate among different flicker frequencies, and that their visual preferences are persistent even under different experimental conditions. Interestingly, avoided stimuli were more attractive if they were novel, suggesting that novelty salience can override innate preferences. Our recursive virtual reality environment provides a new approach to studying visual discrimination and choice behaviour in behaving animals.},
  author       = {Van De Poll, Matthew N and Zajaczkowski, Esmi L and Taylor, Gavin and Srinivasan, Mandyam V and van Swinderen, Bruno},
  issn         = {1477-9145},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {21},
  pages        = {3448--3460},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Biology},
  title        = {Using an abstract geometry in virtual reality to explore choice behaviour: visual flicker preferences in honeybees},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.125138},
  volume       = {218},
  year         = {2015},
}