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Performance on different cognitive tasks varies between individuals within species. Recent evidence suggests that, in some species, this variation reflects the existence of coherent cognitive strategies bringing together positive and negative relationships between tasks. For example, Carib grackles show a speed-accuracy trade-off, where individuals that are fast at solving novel problems make more errors at discrimination learning than individuals that are slow solvers. Pathogens are thought to play a major role in shaping variation in cognition, either because different cognitive strategies lead to differential exposure to pathogens, or because investment in cognitive abilities is costly, limiting the ability to invest in anti-pathogen responses. In both cases, immunocompetence is expected to co-vary with cognition. Here, using wild-caught Carib grackles, we tested whether performance on reversal learning and detour-reaching tasks is associated with the speed-accuracy trade-off found in a previous study. In parallel, we measured the response of individuals to a phytohemagglutinin (PHA) injection, an immunoecological technique that assesses general immunity. Performance on two problem-solving tasks and two learning tasks was characterized by a speed-accuracy trade-off, reversal learning and discrimination learning performance being better in individuals with slower problem-solving performance. Detour-reaching performance was independent from this trade-off. Finally, our results show that PHA response was higher in accurate but slow grackles, and higher in grackles with better detour-reaching performance. Investigating the emergence and maintenance of variation in cognition in a framework integrating variation in physiology and life history is likely a major step towards a better understanding of the evolution of cognition.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Animal cognition
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Dental methods involving the use of DENTAL HIGH-SPEED EQUIPMENT.
The status or condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised. The slave trade is all acts involved in the capture, acquisition or disposal of persons with intent to reduce them to enslavement; all acts involved in the acquisition of enslaved persons with a view to selling or exchanging them; all acts of disposal by sale or exchange of persons acquired with a view to being sold or exchanged, and, in general, every act of trade or transport of slaves. ( from http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/slaveryen.pdf accessed 10/18/2012)
The closeness of a determined value of a physical dimension to the actual value.
The social process by which something or someone comes to be regarded and treated as an article of trade or commerce.
A measure of scientific precision, exactness, or correctness of quantitative or qualitative values, relative to the actual or true measurements.
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