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Innate colour preferences of a hawkmoth depend on visual context

Kuenzinger, William; Kelber, Almut LU ; Weesner, Jordan; Travis, Jonathan; Raguso, Robert A. and Goyret, Joaquín LU (2019) In Biology letters 15(3).
Abstract

Solitary insects that feed on floral nectar must use innate knowledge to find their first flower. While innate preferences for flower colours are often described as fixed, species-specific traits, the nature and persistence of these preferences have been debated, particularly in relation to ontogenetic processes such as learning. Here we present evidence for a strong context-dependence of innate colour preferences in the crepuscular hawkmoth Manduca sexta. Contrary to expectations, our results show that innate colour biases shift with changes in the visual environment, namely illuminance and background. This finding reveals that innate responses might emerge from a contextual integration of sensory inputs involved in object class... (More)

Solitary insects that feed on floral nectar must use innate knowledge to find their first flower. While innate preferences for flower colours are often described as fixed, species-specific traits, the nature and persistence of these preferences have been debated, particularly in relation to ontogenetic processes such as learning. Here we present evidence for a strong context-dependence of innate colour preferences in the crepuscular hawkmoth Manduca sexta. Contrary to expectations, our results show that innate colour biases shift with changes in the visual environment, namely illuminance and background. This finding reveals that innate responses might emerge from a contextual integration of sensory inputs involved in object class recognition rather than from the deterministic matching of such inputs with a fixed internal representation.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
chromatic, innate bias, Lepidoptera, pollination, vision
in
Biology letters
volume
15
issue
3
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • scopus:85063093773
ISSN
1744-9561
DOI
10.1098/rsbl.2018.0886
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a64d246b-5c84-4165-9560-2620c88c0d79
date added to LUP
2019-04-01 14:58:15
date last changed
2019-08-14 04:34:35
@article{a64d246b-5c84-4165-9560-2620c88c0d79,
  abstract     = {<p>Solitary insects that feed on floral nectar must use innate knowledge to find their first flower. While innate preferences for flower colours are often described as fixed, species-specific traits, the nature and persistence of these preferences have been debated, particularly in relation to ontogenetic processes such as learning. Here we present evidence for a strong context-dependence of innate colour preferences in the crepuscular hawkmoth Manduca sexta. Contrary to expectations, our results show that innate colour biases shift with changes in the visual environment, namely illuminance and background. This finding reveals that innate responses might emerge from a contextual integration of sensory inputs involved in object class recognition rather than from the deterministic matching of such inputs with a fixed internal representation.</p>},
  author       = {Kuenzinger, William and Kelber, Almut and Weesner, Jordan and Travis, Jonathan and Raguso, Robert A. and Goyret, Joaquín},
  issn         = {1744-9561},
  keyword      = {chromatic,innate bias,Lepidoptera,pollination,vision},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {03},
  number       = {3},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Biology letters},
  title        = {Innate colour preferences of a hawkmoth depend on visual context},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0886},
  volume       = {15},
  year         = {2019},
}