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How proximate factors underlying decision making may affect the evolution and maintenance of cooperation

English title How proximate factors underlying decision making may affect the evolution and maintenance of cooperation
Applicant Bshary Redouan
Number 153067
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut de Biologie Faculté des Sciences Université de Neuchâtel
Institution of higher education University of Neuchatel - NE
Main discipline Ecology
Start/End 01.05.2014 - 30.04.2017
Approved amount 822'070.34
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Keywords (3)

behavioural ecology; cooperation; decision rules

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
How proximate factors underlying decision making may affect the evolution of cooperationWhile evolutionary theory is based on the evaluation of genetic strategies, the reality at least for vertebrates is that individuals often make decisions based on learning, memory and experience. This raises the question in how far ontogenetic and physiological factors cause decisions that deviate from the more simple genetic strategies in important ways. We will study this issue in the context of cooperation.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziele des Forschungsprojekts

Wir werden Entscheidungsprozesse in marinen Putzmutualismen sowohl empirisch als auch anhand von Modellen untersuchen. Wir konzentrieren uns auf den Putzerlippfisch Labroides dimidiatus. Der Putzer entfernt Ektoparasiten von anderen Rifffischen. Es besteht ein Interessenskonflikt, weil Putzer die schützende Schleimschicht der Kunden bevorzugen. Basierend auf vor kurzem erworbenen Erkenntnissen werden wir die Hypothese testen, dass die Komplexität der zwischenartlichen sozialen Umgebung und/oder Konkurrenz zwischen Putzern während der Ontogenese Varianz in Bezug auf kognitive Fähigkeiten und Kooperations-bereitschaft erzeugt. Gleichzeitig werden wir untersuchen, inwiefern Putzer ihre Servicequalität an spezifische Eigenschaften von Kundenarten anpassen, wie zum Beispiel Schwimmfähigkeit/Beschleunigung, Parasitenbefall und Nährwert des Schleims. Zusätzlich werden wir in einer vergleichenden Studie herausfinden, inwieweit Hormone und Neurohormone, die bei L. dimidiatus der Kooperationsbereitschaft beeinflussen (Kortisol, Serotonin und Arginin-Vasotocin) auch bei anderen Putzerarten die gleichen Effekte hervorrufen. Der theoretische Teil des Projekts beinhaltet die Entwicklung von Evolutions-Modellen zu Entscheidungsregeln, wobei die Annahmen der Modelle auf unseren empirischen Erkenntnissen basieren werden.

 

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext

Die Kombination von Modellierung und empirischen Daten, und die Verbindung von Mechanismen und Funktion, sollten uns wertvolle neue Erkenntnisse vermitteln, unter welchen Bedingungen Kooperation stabil ist. Sowohl die Aspekte „Tier-Kognition“ als auch „Kooperation“ sind Gegenstand intensiver interdisziplinärer Forschung, mit grossem Potential für die Popularisierung der Ergebnisse.


Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 08.05.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
The influence of demographic variation on social network stability in wild vervet monkeys
Borgeaud Christele, Sosa Sebastian, Sueur Cedric, Bshary Redouan (2017), The influence of demographic variation on social network stability in wild vervet monkeys, in ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 134, 155-165.
Female vervet monkeys fine-tune decisions on tolerance versus conflict in a communication network
Borgeaud Christele, Schnider Alessandra, Krutzen Michael, Bshary Redouan (2017), Female vervet monkeys fine-tune decisions on tolerance versus conflict in a communication network, in PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 284(1867), 20171922.
Reputation management promotes strategic adjustment of service quality in cleaner wrasse
Binning Sandra A., Rey Olivia, Wismer Sharon, Triki Zegni, Glauser Gaetan, Soares Marta C., Bshary Redouan (2017), Reputation management promotes strategic adjustment of service quality in cleaner wrasse, in SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 7, 8425.
Animal personalities: an empty placeholder feigning understanding: a comment on Beekman and Jordan
Jungwirth Arne, Wedell Nina, Bshary Redouan, Milinski Manfred (2017), Animal personalities: an empty placeholder feigning understanding: a comment on Beekman and Jordan, in BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY, 28(3), 629-630.
The arginine-vasotocin and serotonergic systems affect interspecific social behaviour of client fish in marine cleaning mutualism
Triki Zegni, Bshary Redouan, Grutter Alexandra S., Ros Albert F. H. (2017), The arginine-vasotocin and serotonergic systems affect interspecific social behaviour of client fish in marine cleaning mutualism, in PHYSIOLOGY & BEHAVIOR, 174, 136-143.
Mutualistic cleaner fish maintains high escape performance despite privileged relationship with predators
Gingins Simon, Roche Dominique G., Bshary Redouan (2017), Mutualistic cleaner fish maintains high escape performance despite privileged relationship with predators, in PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 284(1853), 20162469.
On potential links between inequity aversion and the structure of interactions for the evolution of cooperation
Brosnan Sarah F., Bshary Redouan (2016), On potential links between inequity aversion and the structure of interactions for the evolution of cooperation, in BEHAVIOUR, 153(9-11), 1267-1292.
Factors influencing the different performance of fish and primates on a dichotomous choice task (vol 119, pg 189, 2016)
Pretot Laurent, Bshary Redouan, Brosnan Sarah F. (2016), Factors influencing the different performance of fish and primates on a dichotomous choice task (vol 119, pg 189, 2016), in ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 121, 1-1.
Effects of short-term exposure to ectoparasites on fish cortisol and hematocrit levels
Triki Zegni, Grutter Alexandra S., Bshary Redouan, Ros Albert F. H. (2016), Effects of short-term exposure to ectoparasites on fish cortisol and hematocrit levels, in MARINE BIOLOGY, 163(9), 187.
Intergroup Variation of Social Relationships in Wild Vervet Monkeys: A Dynamic Network Approach
Borgeaud Christele, Sosa Sebastian, Bshary Redouan, Sueur Cedric, van de Waal Erica (2016), Intergroup Variation of Social Relationships in Wild Vervet Monkeys: A Dynamic Network Approach, in FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY, 7, 915.
The cleaner wrasse outperforms other labrids in ecologically relevant contexts, but not in spatial discrimination
Gingins Simon, Bshary Redouan (2016), The cleaner wrasse outperforms other labrids in ecologically relevant contexts, but not in spatial discrimination, in ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 115, 145-155.
Comparing species decisions in a dichotomous choice task: adjusting task parameters improves performance in monkeys.
Prétôt Laurent, Bshary Redouan, Brosnan Sarah F (2016), Comparing species decisions in a dichotomous choice task: adjusting task parameters improves performance in monkeys., in Animal cognition, 19(4), 819-34.
Dopamine disruption increases negotiation for cooperative interactions in a fish.
Messias João P M, Paula José R, Grutter Alexandra S, Bshary Redouan, Soares Marta C (2016), Dopamine disruption increases negotiation for cooperative interactions in a fish., in Scientific reports, 6, 20817-20817.
Generalized rule application in bluestreak cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus): using predator species as social tools to reduce punishment.
Wismer Sharon, Grutter Alexandra, Bshary Redouan (2016), Generalized rule application in bluestreak cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus): using predator species as social tools to reduce punishment., in Animal cognition, 19(4), 769-78.
Power Asymmetries and Punishment in a Prisoner's Dilemma with Variable Cooperative Investment.
Bone Jonathan E, Wallace Brian, Bshary Redouan, Raihani Nichola J (2016), Power Asymmetries and Punishment in a Prisoner's Dilemma with Variable Cooperative Investment., in PloS one, 11(5), 0155773-0155773.
Why mutual helping in most natural systems is neither conflict-free nor based on maximal conflict.
Bshary Redouan, Zuberbühler Klaus, van Schaik Carel P (2016), Why mutual helping in most natural systems is neither conflict-free nor based on maximal conflict., in Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 371(1687), 20150091-20150091.
Arginine vasotocin reduces levels of cooperative behaviour in a cleaner fish.
Cardoso Sónia C, Paitio José R, Oliveira Rui F, Bshary Redouan, Soares Marta C (2015), Arginine vasotocin reduces levels of cooperative behaviour in a cleaner fish., in Physiology & behavior, 139, 314-20.
Cheaters must prosper: reconciling theoretical and empirical perspectives on cheating in mutualism.
Jones Emily I, Afkhami Michelle E, Akçay Erol, Bronstein Judith L, Bshary Redouan, Frederickson Megan E, Heath Katy D, Hoeksema Jason D, Ness Joshua H, Pankey M Sabrina, Porter Stephanie S, Sachs Joel L, Scharnagl Klara, Friesen Maren L (2015), Cheaters must prosper: reconciling theoretical and empirical perspectives on cheating in mutualism., in Ecology letters, 18(11), 1270-1284.
Intra- and interspecific social challenges modulate the levels of an androgen precursor in a seasonally territorial tropical damselfish.
Damjanovic Katarina, Glauser Gaétan, Bshary Redouan, Ros Albert F H (2015), Intra- and interspecific social challenges modulate the levels of an androgen precursor in a seasonally territorial tropical damselfish., in Hormones and behavior, 71, 75-82.
No scope for social modulation of steroid levels in a year-round territorial damselfish.
Ros Albert Frank Huascar, Damjanovic Katarina, Glauser Gaétan, Bshary Redouan (2015), No scope for social modulation of steroid levels in a year-round territorial damselfish., in Journal of experimental zoology. Part A, Ecological genetics and physiology, 323(2), 80-8.
Relative Brain and Brain Part Sizes Provide Only Limited Evidence that Machiavellian Behaviour in Cleaner Wrasse Is Cognitively Demanding.
Chojnacka Dominika, Isler Karin, Barski Jaroslaw Jerzy, Bshary Redouan (2015), Relative Brain and Brain Part Sizes Provide Only Limited Evidence that Machiavellian Behaviour in Cleaner Wrasse Is Cognitively Demanding., in PloS one, 10(8), 0135373-0135373.
Temporal comparison and predictors of fish species abundance and richness on undisturbed coral reef patches.
Wagner Elena L E S, Roche Dominique G, Binning Sandra A, Wismer Sharon, Bshary Redouan (2015), Temporal comparison and predictors of fish species abundance and richness on undisturbed coral reef patches., in PeerJ, 3, 1459-1459.
The effect of power asymmetries on cooperation and punishment in a prisoner's dilemma game.
Bone Jonathan E, Wallace Brian, Bshary Redouan, Raihani Nichola J (2015), The effect of power asymmetries on cooperation and punishment in a prisoner's dilemma game., in PloS one, 10(1), 0117183-0117183.
The reputation of punishers.
Raihani Nichola J, Bshary Redouan (2015), The reputation of punishers., in Trends in ecology & evolution, 30(2), 98-103.
Third-party punishers are rewarded, but third-party helpers even more so.
Raihani Nichola J, Bshary Redouan (2015), Third-party punishers are rewarded, but third-party helpers even more so., in Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 69(4), 993-1003.
Why humans might help strangers.
Raihani Nichola J, Bshary Redouan (2015), Why humans might help strangers., in Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 9, 39-39.
Wild Vervet Monkeys Trade Tolerance and Specific Coalitionary Support for Grooming in Experimentally Induced Conflicts.
Borgeaud Christèle, Bshary Redouan (2015), Wild Vervet Monkeys Trade Tolerance and Specific Coalitionary Support for Grooming in Experimentally Induced Conflicts., in Current biology : CB, 25(22), 3011-6.
Cortisol mediates cleaner wrasse switch from cooperation to cheating and tactical deception.
Soares Marta C, Cardoso Sónia C, Grutter Alexandra S, Oliveira Rui F, Bshary Redouan (2014), Cortisol mediates cleaner wrasse switch from cooperation to cheating and tactical deception., in Hormones and behavior, 66(2), 346-50.
Fish choose appropriately when and with whom to collaborate.
Vail Alexander L, Manica Andrea, Bshary Redouan (2014), Fish choose appropriately when and with whom to collaborate., in Current biology : CB, 24(17), 791-3.
Fish cognition.
Bshary Redouan, Brown Culum (2014), Fish cognition., in Current biology : CB, 24(19), 947-50.
Social cognition in fishes.
Bshary Redouan, Gingins Simon, Vail Alexander L (2014), Social cognition in fishes., in Trends in cognitive sciences, 18(9), 465-71.
Serotonin blockade delays learning performance in a cooperative fish.
Soares Marta C, Paula José R, Bshary Redouan, Serotonin blockade delays learning performance in a cooperative fish., in Animal cognition.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
University of Queensland Australia (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
University of Texas United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
University of Stockholm Sweden (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
ISPA Lisbon Portugal (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
annual meeting of the Ethological Society Talk given at a conference Limited evidence for "proper" third-party punishment in Labroides dimidiatus 22.02.2017 Bonn, Germany Aellen Mélisande; Bshary Redouan;
Annual Meeting of the Ethological Society Talk given at a conference Climate change has a negative impact on fish strategic sophistication 22.02.2017 Bonn, Germany Triki Zegni; Bshary Redouan;
Biology17 Talk given at a conference Fishes match primates in their ability to delay gratification 02.02.2017 Bern, Switzerland Bshary Redouan; Aellen Mélisande;
Annual Meeting of the Society for Experimental Biology Talk given at a conference Conflict in mutualistic interactions maintains high escape performance in the cleaner fish Labroides dimidiatus 03.07.2016 Stockholm, Sweden Roche Dominique; Bshary Redouan;
Annual Meeting of the Ethnological Society Talk given at a conference Why some cleaner wrasse might be smarter than others 17.02.2016 Göttingen, Germany Triki Zegni; McAfoose Sharon; Bshary Redouan;
annual meeting of the Ethological Society Talk given at a conference In how far cleaner wrasse are able to delay gratification 17.02.2016 Göttingen, Germany Bshary Redouan; Aellen Mélisande;
Biology 16: The Annual Swiss Conference on Ecology, Evolution, Systematics, Biogeography and Conservation Talk given at a conference Do parasites affect the cognitive performance of their hosts? 11.02.2016 Lausanne, Switzerland Roche Dominique; Binning Sandra; Bshary Redouan;
Society for Experimental Biology Annual Conference Talk given at a conference Stay clean, stay smart: Ectoparasites affect the cognitive abilities of their fish hosts 04.07.2015 Prague, Czech Republic Roche Dominique; Bshary Redouan; Binning Sandra;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Unternehmer mit Biss International 2014

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
137165 Partner control mechanisms in pair-wise cooperative interactions: empirically-informed models 01.01.2013 ProDoc
135707 The evolution and maintenance of cooperation between unrelated individuals: integrating ultimate and proximate questions 01.05.2011 Project funding (Div. I-III)
173334 How proximate factors underlying decision making may affect the evolution and maintenance of cooperation 01.05.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

The evolution and maintenance of cooperation for direct fitness benefits is a topic of great interdisciplinary interest. Existing game theoretic models assume either that genes code directly for a strategy, or that gene-environment interactions lead to conditional strategies. However, in organisms with more complex central nervous systems, gene-environment interactions can affect brain development, allowing individuals to make decisions based on learning, memory and experience. Decision-making in the brain is also influenced by information sent by the body: for instance, through the production of hormones. Such processes may cause ubiquitously observed inter-species and inter-individual variation in levels of cooperation that is poorly explained by current models. In order to advance evolutionary questions about cooperation, we need to first understand how differences in personal experience, cognition, and physiology influence variation in cooperative interactions. I propose to address these questions using marine cleaning mutualisms as a model system. In these mutualisms, small fish called ‘cleaners’ remove ectoparasites from so-called ‘client’ fish species. Conflict arises when some cleaner fish species prefer to eat the protective mucus layer of their clients, which constitutes cheating. The major focus of this proposal is to study factors influencing decisions during cooperative interactions, and their link to variable behaviour in the cleaner fish L. dimidiatus, our main study system. Individual cleaners differ with respect to levels of cooperation and expression of cognitive abilities; in turn, client species differ with respect to the quality of the service they receive. Recent evidence suggests that the complexity of the cleaner’s interspecific social environment and/or cleaner-cleaner competition over access to clients may cause variation in cognition and cooperation due to ontogenetic effects. Therefore, one aim is to explicitly test for ontogenetic effects by translocating cleaners between sites that differ in social complexity and by experimentally reducing the cleaner-to-client ratio for 12 months in a large area in the field. We will investigate the consequences of cleaner reduction (i.e., increased cleaning demand) on service quality and client strategies via cleaning observations, individual follows of clients, transects and remote monitoring of home range use in various client species. Lab experiments testing the swimming performance and mucus quality of 18 client species belonging to 14 families will provide insights into the physiological costs that may limit partner control mechanisms like punishment and partner switching, which may explain variation among client species in received service quality. Furthermore, experiments on translocated cleaners and cleaners from the experimentally reduced density area will allow us to test whether these manipulations changed individual levels of cooperation and cognition. Finally, we will use a comparative approach to test in how far the physiology underlying a cleaner’s decisions in cooperative interactions varies with strategic options. Hormone and neurotransmitter levels offer the brain information about the individual’s current physiological state or life history stage, often causing pleiotrophic effects on behaviour. We have established that arginine-vasotocin, serotonin, and cortisol affect levels of cooperation in L. dimidiatus. This species prefers ectoparasites over client mucus. Our working hypothesis is that the same effects exist in other cleaner species with such food preference, while service quality will not be affected in species that prefer to eat ectoparasites and hence do not have to solve a conflict with clients over what to eat.In parallel with empirical research, we aim to develop models that explicitly link parameters affecting social complexity with costs and benefits of more or less sophisticated decision rules, i.e. rules that use different amounts of information about the social environment. Our variables of interest will affect the efficiency of different updating rules that would lead to more or less knowledgeable / cognitively enabled individuals. The updating rules should take into account likely learning mechanisms used by animals, like reinforcement learning. We will explore the effects of social complexity and learning on both ecological and evolutionary time scales. The powerful combination of modelling and empirical data, especially the explicit links between mechanisms and function, should provide us with novel insights concerning the conditions promoting stable cooperation.
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