Title

Significance of Visual Cues in Choice Behavior in the Female Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis)

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2002

Keywords

Bird, Social preference, Sensory integration, Species discrimination

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-002-0136-9

Abstract

Female zebra finches show a preference for male zebra finches over heterospecific males based solely on the auditory cues of males, such as songs. The present study was designed to investigate whether females show a similar preference for male zebra finches based solely on visual cues. Using a Y-maze apparatus, social preference of female zebra finches was studied between male zebra finches and male Bengalese finches in three experiments. In experiment 1, where female zebra finches could see and hear live male zebra finches and male Bengalese finches, the females preferred to associate with the male zebra finches. In experiment 2, using a sound-attenuated experimental apparatus, subjects could see, but not hear, male zebra finches and male Bengalese finches. The subjects did not show a significant preference for associating with zebra finches. In experiment 3, as in experiment 2, females could see live male zebra finches and male Bengalese finches in the sound-attenuated chambers. However, in experiment 3, the subjects also heard prerecorded auditory cues (i.e., songs and calls) of male zebra finches, which were presented simultaneously in both arms of the maze. Although the females could not use the auditory cues to identify the location of the male zebra finches, they preferred to associate with the male zebra finches rather than the male Bengalese finches. These results suggest that visual cues alone were effective in initiating choice behaviors by females and that auditory cues facilitate such visually based choice behaviors.

Was this content written or created while at USF?

Yes

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Animal Cognition, v. 5, issue 2, p. 91-95

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