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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 173334
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 01.05.2017 - 30.04.2020
Approved amount 783'575.00
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Keywords (6)

physiology; behavioural ecology; cooperation; cognition; modelling; mutualism

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Kooperation zwischen nicht-verwandten individuen ist sehr interessant für Evolutionsbiologen, da gegenseitiges Helfen auf den ersten Blick nicht mit dem basalen Prinzip von Evolution, nämlich dem persönlichen Vorteil, zu vereinbaren ist. Uns interessiert besonders die Varianz in kooperativem Verhalten zwischen Individuen derselben Art und zwischen Arten. Evolutionstheorie basiert auf genetischen Verhlatensprogrammen, aber in der Realität nutzen Tiere ihr Hirn und somit ihre kognitiven Fàhigkeiten, um Entscheidungen zu treffen. Wir versuchen zu verstehen, wie die Umwelt kognitive Fähigkeiten beeinflusst, und wie Kognition und Hormone interagieren im Entscheidungsprozess.
Lay summary

Wir werden weiterhin Entscheidungsprozesse in marinen Putzmutualismen und in grünen Meerkatzen untersuchen. Wir konzentrieren uns auf Putzerlippfische. Der Putzer entfernt Ektoparasiten von anderen Rifffischen. Es besteht ein Interessenskonflikt, weil Putzer die schützende Schleimschicht der Kunden bevorzugen. Die Komplexität der zwischenartlichen sozialen Umgebung und/oder Konkurrenz zwischen Putzern erzeugt Varianz in Bezug auf kognitive Fähigkeiten und Kooperationsbereitschaft, und wir bestimmen nun die wichtigsten Faktoren. Parallel untersuchen wir Putzergrundeln in der Karibik. Diese Fische sind interessant, weil sie zwei verschiedenen Socialsystemen leben: in Paaren als Putzer und in grossen Gruppen als nicht-Putzer. Diese Unterschiede sollten sich auf das Verhalten und die kognitiven Fähigkeiten auswirken. Zusätzlich untersuchen wir die Wirkungsweise von Hormonen und Neurohormonen in Putzern und Affen. Dabei interessiert uns vor allem der Unterschied zwischen inner- und zwischenartlichen Interaktionen, als auch der Effekt von Partnerbindung und Freundschaft. Der theoretische Teil des Projekts beinhaltet die Entwicklung von Evolutions-Modellen zu Entscheidungsregeln, wobei die Annahmen der Modelle auf unseren empirischen Erkenntnissen basieren.

                                                                                            

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext Die Kombination von Modellierung und empirischen Daten, und die Verbindung von Mechanismen und Funktion sollten uns wertvolle neue Erkenntnisse vermitteln wie Tiere soziale Entscheidungen treffen. 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: 02.05.2017

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Juvenile cleaner fish can socially learn the consequences of cheating.
N Truskanov, Y Emery, R Bshary (2020), Juvenile cleaner fish can socially learn the consequences of cheating., in Nature communications, 1.
Long‐term memory retention in a wild fish species Labroides dimidiatus eleven months after an aversive event
TrikiZegni, BsharyRedouan (2020), Long‐term memory retention in a wild fish species Labroides dimidiatus eleven months after an aversive event, in Ethology, 126, 372.
Reduced access to cleaner fish negatively impacts the physiological state of two resident reef fishes
Demairé Camille, Triki Zegni, Binning Sandra A., Glauser Gaëtan, Roche Dominique G., Bshary Redouan (2020), Reduced access to cleaner fish negatively impacts the physiological state of two resident reef fishes, in Marine Biology, 167(4), 1.
Reinforcement Learning Theory Reveals the Cognitive Requirements for Solving the Cleaner Fish Market Task.
AE Quiñones, O Leimar, A Lotem, R Bshary (2020), Reinforcement Learning Theory Reveals the Cognitive Requirements for Solving the Cleaner Fish Market Task., in The American naturalist, 664.
Biological market effects predict cleaner fish strategic sophistication
Triki Zegni, Wismer Sharon, Rey Olivia, Binning Sandra Ann, Levorato Elena, Bshary Redouan (2019), Biological market effects predict cleaner fish strategic sophistication, in Behavioral Ecology, 30(6), 1548-1557.
Changes in local free-living parasite populations in response to cleaner manipulation over 12 years.
AS Grutter, SP Blomberg, S Box, R Bshary, O Ho, EMP Madin, EC McClure, MG Meekan, JM Murphy, MA Richardson, PC Sikkel, CA Sims, D Sun, RR Warner (2019), Changes in local free-living parasite populations in response to cleaner manipulation over 12 years., in Oecologia, 783.
Cue-based decision rules of cleaner fish in a biological market task
Wismer Sharon, Pinto Ana I., Triki Zegni, Grutter Alexandra S., Roche Dominique G., Bshary Redouan (2019), Cue-based decision rules of cleaner fish in a biological market task, in Animal Behaviour, 158, 249-260.
Ecological differences in the facultative Caribbean cleaning goby Elacatinus prochilos do not predict learning performance in discriminatory two-choice tasks.
R Mazzei, M Lampe, A Ohnesorge, A Pajot, MC Soares, R Bshary (2019), Ecological differences in the facultative Caribbean cleaning goby Elacatinus prochilos do not predict learning performance in discriminatory two-choice tasks., in Animal cognition, 1039.
Fluctuations in coral reef fish densities after environmental disturbances on the northern Great Barrier Reef.
Z Triki, R Bshary (2019), Fluctuations in coral reef fish densities after environmental disturbances on the northern Great Barrier Reef., in PeerJ, e6720.
Population densities predict forebrain size variation in the cleaner fish Labroides dimidiatus.
Z Triki, E Levorato, W McNeely, J Marshall, R Bshary (2019), Population densities predict forebrain size variation in the cleaner fish Labroides dimidiatus., in Proceedings. Biological sciences, 20192108.
Punishment: one tool, many uses
Raihani Nichola J., Bshary Redouan (2019), Punishment: one tool, many uses, in Evolutionary Human Sciences, 1, e12.
Testosterone causes pleiotropic effects on cleanerfish behaviour.
MC Soares, R Mazzei, SC Cardoso, C Ramos, R Bshary (2019), Testosterone causes pleiotropic effects on cleanerfish behaviour., in Scientific reports, 1.
The past, present and future of cleaner fish cognitive performance as a function of CO2 levels.
JR Paula, M Baptista, F Carvalho, T Repolho, R Bshary, R Rosa (2019), The past, present and future of cleaner fish cognitive performance as a function of CO2 levels., in Biology letters, 20190618.
Cleaner wrasse indirectly affect the cognitive performance of a damselfish through ectoparasite removal.
SA Binning, DG Roche, AS Grutter, S Colosio, D Sun, J Miest, R Bshary (2018), Cleaner wrasse indirectly affect the cognitive performance of a damselfish through ectoparasite removal., in Proceedings. Biological sciences, 20172447.
The performance of cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, in a reversal learning task varies across experimental paradigms.
S Gingins, F Marcadier, S Wismer, O Krattinger, F Quattrini, R Bshary, SA Binning (2018), The performance of cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, in a reversal learning task varies across experimental paradigms., in PeerJ, e4745.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
University of Stockholm Sweden (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Tel Aviv University Israel (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
University of Texas in Austin United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
University of Queensland Australia (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
University of Neuchâtel Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
ASAB summer meeting Talk given at a conference Relationship between population densities, forebrain measurements and social competence in cleaner fish. 26.08.2019 Konstanz, Germany Bshary Redouan; Emery Yasmin; Triki Zegni;
ASAB meeting Talk given at a conference Juvenile cleaner wrasses can learn socially about the consequences of cheating 26.08.2019 Konstanz, Germany Bshary Redouan; Emery Yasmin; Truskanov Noa;
The Annual Swiss Conference on Ecology, Evolution, Systematics, Biogeography and Conservation. Talk given at a conference Shifts in the biological market predict cleaner fish strategic sophistication. 07.02.2019 Zurich, Switzerland Triki Zegni;
he XIII Congress for Neuroethology Talk given at a conference Fluctuations in abundance cause changes in the cognitive performance of cleaner fish Labroides dimidiatus. 15.08.2018 Brisbane, Australia Bshary Redouan; Triki Zegni;
The 6th ToulouseEconomics and Biology Workshop Talk given at a conference Sophisticated learning in a mutualistic fish 24.05.2018 Toulouse, France Bshary Redouan; Quinones Paredes Andrés;
The cognition, behaviour and evolution network in the low countries Individual talk Shifts in the biological market of the marine cleaning mutualism caused a decline in a cleaner wrasse’s sophisticated strategies 26.11.2017 Leiden, Netherlands Bshary Redouan; Triki Zegni;
Bionomics ( The Biology and Economics of mutualisms) Talk given at a conference Modelling learning processes in the cleaner wrasse mutualism 01.11.2017 Ploen, Germany Quinones Paredes Andrés; Bshary Redouan;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Ein untrügliches Gespür fürs Geschäftliche International 2019
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Game theory and animal social behaviour The dissenter International 2019
Media relations: radio, television The invisible paw Freakonomics International 2018

Awards

Title Year
Prix Léon Du Pasquier et Louis Perrier (best thesis of the year in the Faculty of Sciences at UniNE) 2019
Kobe Award 2018

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
137165 Partner control mechanisms in pair-wise cooperative interactions: empirically-informed models 01.01.2013 ProDoc
192673 The ontogeny and evolution of cleaner fish social cognition 01.08.2020 Project funding (Div. I-III)
153067 How proximate factors underlying decision making may affect the evolution and maintenance of cooperation 01.05.2014 Project funding (Div. I-III)
156827 The cognitive basis of variable cooperation in humans 01.01.2015 Interdisciplinary projects

Abstract

The evolution and maintenance of cooperation for direct fitness benefits is a topic of great interdisciplinary interest. Existing game theoretic models typically 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, a different scenario becomes increasingly important: gene-environment interactions affect brain development, and individuals will use their brain 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. It is such processes that may cause many of the 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 hence need to first understand how differences in personal experience, cognition, and physiology influence variation in cooperative interactions. In my current SNF grant, we have collected various data sets that will allow a more informed theoretical approach that explicitly includes physiological and cognitive mechanisms. In the bonus-of-excellence prolongation, we will continue this line of research with some adjustments. First, while recently started with the modelling, the BoE will put strong emphasis on it with a three-year post doc position. Models will address both decision rules that develop over the lifetime of individuals and evolutionary changes of strategies. Second, we have developed the tools to study aspects and effects of social decision making on the brain level, i.e. via gene expression in the social decision-making network, neurohormone receptor distributions and also anatomical features like size and cell density of particular nuclei. We will continue to increase our knowledge on these aspects. Finally, while the current grant focusses on the cleaner wrasse Labroides dimidiatus, we will broaden the empirical study systems. As before, we will compare L. dimidiatus cooperation, cognition and physiology to other wrasse species. As new additions, we study Caribbean cleaning gobies of the genus Elacatinus, a clade that has evolved specialised cleaning independently of wrasses. Goby cleaning strategies differ from those of wrasses, and the intraspecific variation is enormous, ranging from virtually no cleaning to obtaining almost all food from cleaning. Thus, information about their behaviour, cognition and physiology will be interesting for a comparative approach and because of its own specific features. A separate line of research involves the endocrinology of life history and social decisions in vervet monkeys. We started producing a rather unique data set in primatology, which includes regular measures of life history hormones (testosterone and cortisol) and neurohormones involved in social decision making (oxytocin and vasopressin). The current correlational data will be complemented with experiments in which we manipulate social interactions. The results can be used to model the evolution of (neuro)hormone functions in intra- and interspecific social behaviour when compared to the fish data, and/or to develop models that have a life history component to them. In conclusion, the aim of the BoE grant is to produce a great variety of empirical data on physiological and cognitive mechanisms that underlie social decision making as food for thought for our ontogenetic and evolutionary models of cooperation.
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