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The use of information in social decisions

English title The use of information in social decisions
Applicant Taborsky Michael
Number 156152
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Ethologische Station Hasli Institut für Ökologie und Evolution Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Ecology
Start/End 01.01.2015 - 31.12.2017
Approved amount 781'000.00
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Keywords (8)

ultimate mechanisms; reciprocity; behaviour; proximate mechanisms; cooperation; dispersal; information; communication

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Besteht in einem Sozialverband die Möglichkeit, durch für Individuen kostspielige Koopera¬tion der Gruppe Vorteile zu verschaffen, können sich Gruppenmitglieder entscheiden, (1) welches Mass an kooperativem Aufwand sie zum Wohl der Gruppe betreiben, und (2) ob sie in der Gruppe bleiben, oder diese verlassen. Diese zwei prinzipiellen Ebenen, die sozialen Entscheidungen gruppenlebender Tiere zugrunde liegen, sind stark mit dem Informationsgrad verknüpft, den Individuen über alternative Optionen haben. Diese Beziehung soll in diesem Projekt mithilfe von Beispielen aus verschiedenen Tiergruppen aufgeklärt werden.
Lay summary

Die höchste Stufe sozialer Organisation, die wir kennen, ist das langfristige Zusammen­leben von Gruppen, die sich verschiedene Aufgaben unter ihren Mitgliedern aufteilen. In der Regel werden dabei die von wenigen Gruppenmitgliedern produzierten Nachkommen gemeinsam aufgezogen. Diejenigen Gruppenmitglieder, die dabei für die Aufzucht von Jungen aufkommen, die sie nicht selbst produziert haben, erleiden durch ihre Hilfe verminderte individuelle, genetische Fitness. Zur Kompensation müssen sie direkte oder indirekte Fitnessvorteile aus dieser altruistischen Tätigkeit erfahren, damit sich derartiges Verhalten in der Evolution durchsetzen kann.

Optimale Entscheidungen können nur getroffen werden, wenn Gruppenmitglieder über die verschiedenen Optionen, die mit Kooperation und dem Verbleib in der Gruppe verknüpft sind, entsprechend informiert sind. Besonders über alternative Möglichkeiten ausserhalb der Gruppe, in der man sich aufhält, ist der Grad an Information aber oftmals beschränkt. Wie Tiere diesen Informations­grad verbessern, und wie sie ihre Entscheidungen auf vorhandener Information gründen, wird in diesem Projekt an drei Modellsystemen untersucht, die einen breiten Bereich phylogenetischer Diversität abdecken: an pilzzüchtenden Borkenkäfern, kooperativ brütenden Buntbarschen und einander helfenden Wanderratten. Alle drei Systeme weisen hochorganisiertes Sozialverhalten und Kooperation ohne unmittelbaren, direkten Fitnessgewinn auf. Damit ist es möglich, grundlegende Prinzipien der Entscheidungsfindung im sozialen und kooperativen Kontext an sehr diversen Beispielen zu erarbeiten.

Dies dient dem besseren Verständnis der Steue­rung kooperativen Verhaltens und behandelt demnach ein zentrales Problem der Darwinschen Evolutionslehre. Auch unser Verständnis der evolutiven Grundlagen menschlichen Sozialverhaltens kann dadurch unmittelbar verbessert werden.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 23.12.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Relatedness decreases and reciprocity increases cooperation in Norway rats
Manon K. Schweinfurth Michael Taborsky (2018), Relatedness decreases and reciprocity increases cooperation in Norway rats, in The Royal Society Publishing, 285, 1-7.
Reciprocal trading of different commodities in Norway rats
Manon K. Schweinfurth Michael Taborsky (2018), Reciprocal trading of different commodities in Norway rats, in Current Biology, 28, 1-6.
Working dogs transfer different tasks in reciprocal cooperation
Nastassja Gfrerer Michael Taborsky (2018), Working dogs transfer different tasks in reciprocal cooperation, in Biology Letters, 14(20170460), 1-5.
Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) communicate need which elicits donation of food
Manon K. Schweinfurth Michael Taborsky (2018), Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) communicate need which elicits donation of food, in Journal of Comparative Psychology, 0735-7036/18, 1-11.
Computer animations of color markings reveal the function of visual threat signals in Neolamprologus pulcher
Balzarini Valentina Taborsky Michael Villa Fabienne Frommen Gerhard Joachim (2017), Computer animations of color markings reveal the function of visual threat signals in Neolamprologus pulcher, in CurrentZoology, 63(1), 45-54.
Experimental evidence for reciprocity in allogrooming among wild-type Norway rats
Manon K. Schweinfurth Binia Stieger Michael Taborsky (2017), Experimental evidence for reciprocity in allogrooming among wild-type Norway rats, in Scientific Reports, 7/4010, 1-7.
Do female Norway rats form social bonds?
M. K. Schweinfurth J. Neuenschwander L. Engqvist K. Schneeberger A. K. Rentsch M (2017), Do female Norway rats form social bonds?, in Behav Ecol Sociobiol, 1-9.
Environmental enrichment of young adult rats (Rattus norvegicus) in different sensory modalities has long-lasting effects on their ability to learn via specific sensory channels
Vassilissa Dolivo Michael Taborsky (2017), Environmental enrichment of young adult rats (Rattus norvegicus) in different sensory modalities has long-lasting effects on their ability to learn via specific sensory channels, in Journal of Comparative Psychology, 79-88.
Working dogs cooperate among one another by generalised reciprocity
Nastassja Gfrerer Michael Taborsky (2017), Working dogs cooperate among one another by generalised reciprocity, in scientific Reports, 1-2.
Sperm-limited males save ejaculates for future matings when competing with superior rivals
Dolores Schütz * Linda Tschirren Gudrun Pachler Pia Grubbauer Michael Taborsky (2017), Sperm-limited males save ejaculates for future matings when competing with superior rivals, in Animal Behaviour, 127, 3-12.
To pee or not to pee: urine signals mediate aggressive interactions in the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher
Taborsky Michael Frommen Joachim Gerhard Bayani Dario-Marco (2017), To pee or not to pee: urine signals mediate aggressive interactions in the cooperatively breeding cichlid Neolamprologus pulcher, in Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol, 1.
Benefits of intraspecific social exposure in adult Swiss military dogs
Nastassja Gfrerer Michael Taborsky Hanno Würbel (2017), Benefits of intraspecific social exposure in adult Swiss military dogs, in Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 1.
Feel good, do good? Disentangling reciprocity from unconditional prosociality
Res Schmid Karin Schneeberger Michael Taborsky (2017), Feel good, do good? Disentangling reciprocity from unconditional prosociality, in Ethology, 1-8.
The evolution of strategic male mating effort in an information transfer framework
Leif Engqvist Michael Taborsky (2017), The evolution of strategic male mating effort in an information transfer framework, in Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 1.
The transfer of alternative tasks in reciprocal cooperation
Manon K. Schweinfurth Michael Taborsky (2017), The transfer of alternative tasks in reciprocal cooperation, in Animal Behaviour, 131, 35-41.
Computer animations of color markings reveal the function of visual threat signals in Neolamprologus pulcher
Balzarini Valentina, Taborsky Michael, Villa Fabienne, Frommen Joachim G. (2016), Computer animations of color markings reveal the function of visual threat signals in Neolamprologus pulcher, in CurrentZoology, 0, 1-2.
Androgen responses to reproductive competition of males pursuing either fixed or plastic alternative reproductive tactics.
von Kuerthy Corinna, Ros Albert F H, Taborsky Michael (2016), Androgen responses to reproductive competition of males pursuing either fixed or plastic alternative reproductive tactics., in The Journal of experimental biology, 219(Pt 22), 3544-3553.
Cichlid fishes: A model for the integrative study of social behavior. In: Cooperative Breeding in Vertebrates: Studies of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior
Taborsky Michael (2016), Cichlid fishes: A model for the integrative study of social behavior. In: Cooperative Breeding in Vertebrates: Studies of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, in cambridge University Press, 272.
Contest versus scramble competition among males pursuing fixed or plastic alternative reproductive tactics
von Kuerthy Corinna, Taborsky Michael (2016), Contest versus scramble competition among males pursuing fixed or plastic alternative reproductive tactics, in ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 113, 203-212.
Correlated pay-offs are key to cooperation.
Taborsky Michael, Frommen Joachim G, Riehl Christina (2016), Correlated pay-offs are key to cooperation., in Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 371(1687), 20150084-20150084.
Negotiation and appeasement can be more effective drivers of sociality than kin selection.
Quiñones Andrés E, van Doorn G Sander, Pen Ido, Weissing Franz J, Taborsky Michael (2016), Negotiation and appeasement can be more effective drivers of sociality than kin selection., in Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 371(1687), 20150089-20150089.
No evidence for audience effects in reciprocal cooperation of Norway rats
Schweinfurth Manon, Taborsky Michael (2016), No evidence for audience effects in reciprocal cooperation of Norway rats, in Ethology, 122, 513-521.
Predation risk drives social complexity in cooperative breeders.
Groenewoud Frank, Frommen Joachim Gerhard, Josi Dario, Tanaka Hirokazu, Jungwirth Arne, Taborsky Michael (2016), Predation risk drives social complexity in cooperative breeders., in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(15), 4104-9.
Sexual selection promotes colonial breeding in shell-brooding cichlid fish
Schuetz Dolores, Ocana Sabine Wirtz, Maan Martine E., Taborsky Michael (2016), Sexual selection promotes colonial breeding in shell-brooding cichlid fish, in ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR, 112, 153-161.
The evolution of cooperation based on direct fitness benefits.
Taborsky Michael, Frommen Joachim G, Riehl Christina (2016), The evolution of cooperation based on direct fitness benefits., in Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 371(1687), 20150472-20150472.
The evolution of cooperation based on direct fitness benefits.
Taborsky Michael, Frommen Joachim G, Riehl Christina (2016), The evolution of cooperation based on direct fitness benefits., in Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 371(1687), 20150472-20150472.
The evolution of genetic and conditional alternative reproductive tactics.
Engqvist Leif, Taborsky Michael (2016), The evolution of genetic and conditional alternative reproductive tactics., in Proceedings. Biological sciences, 283(1825), 20152945-20152945.
Ultimate and proximate mechanisms of reciprocal altruism in rats.
Dolivo Vassilissa, Rutte Claudia, Taborsky Michael (2016), Ultimate and proximate mechanisms of reciprocal altruism in rats., in Learning & behavior, 44(3), 223-6.
Alternative reproductive tactics in snail shell-brooding cichlids diverge in energy reserve allocation.
von Kuerthy Corinna, Tschirren Linda, Taborsky Michael (2015), Alternative reproductive tactics in snail shell-brooding cichlids diverge in energy reserve allocation., in Ecology and evolution, 5(10), 2060-9.
Benefits of coloniality: communal defence saves anti-predator effort in cooperative breeders
Jungwirth Arne, Josi Dario, Walker Jonas, Taborsky Michael (2015), Benefits of coloniality: communal defence saves anti-predator effort in cooperative breeders, in Functional Ecology, 29, 1218-1224.
Cooperation among Norway rats: The importance of visual cues for reciprocal cooperation, and the role of coercion
Dolivo Vassilissa, Taborsky Michael (2015), Cooperation among Norway rats: The importance of visual cues for reciprocal cooperation, and the role of coercion, in Ethology, 1.
Evolution of genetic and physiological mechanisms of cooperative behaviour
Taborsky Michael, Taborsky Barbara (2015), Evolution of genetic and physiological mechanisms of cooperative behaviour, in Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 6, 132-136.
First- and second-order sociality determine survival and reproduction in cooperative cichlids.
Jungwirth Arne, Taborsky Michael (2015), First- and second-order sociality determine survival and reproduction in cooperative cichlids., in Proceedings. Biological sciences, 282(1819), 0.
Norway rats reciprocate help according to the quality of help they received.
Dolivo Vassilissa, Taborsky Michael (2015), Norway rats reciprocate help according to the quality of help they received., in Biology letters, 11(2), 20140959-20140959.
Polygyny affects paternal care, but not survival, pair stability, and group tenure in a cooperative cichlid
Jungwirth Arne, Brena Pierpaolo F., Keller Isabelle, Taborsky Michael (2015), Polygyny affects paternal care, but not survival, pair stability, and group tenure in a cooperative cichlid, in Behavioral Ecology, 2015, 1-9.
Prospecting precedes dispersal and increases survival chances in cooperatively breeding cichlids
Jungwirth Arne, Walker Jonas, Taborsky Michael (2015), Prospecting precedes dispersal and increases survival chances in cooperatively breeding cichlids, in Animal Behaviour, 106, 107-114.
Selection for costly sexual traits results in a vacant mating niche and male dimorphism.
Hendrickx Frederik, Vanthournout Bram, Taborsky Michael (2015), Selection for costly sexual traits results in a vacant mating niche and male dimorphism., in Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 69(8), 2105-17.
Taxon matters: promoting integrative studies of social behavior: NESCent Working Group on Integrative Models of Vertebrate Sociality: Evolution, Mechanisms, and Emergent Properties.
Taborsky Michael, Hofmann Hans A, Beery Annaliese K, Blumstein Daniel T, Hayes Loren D, Lacey Eileen A, Martins Emília P, Phelps Steven M, Solomon Nancy G, Rubenstein Dustin R (2015), Taxon matters: promoting integrative studies of social behavior: NESCent Working Group on Integrative Models of Vertebrate Sociality: Evolution, Mechanisms, and Emergent Properties., in Trends in neurosciences, 38(4), 189-91.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Dr. Sander van Doorn Netherlands (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Dr. Daniel Rankin Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Other activities . International 2017

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
138660 Evolutionary mechanisms of cooperation and competition: an integrative approach 01.01.2012 Project funding

Abstract

In cooperative breeders, there are two important decisions to be made by reproductively mature group members that can potentially breed: whether to stay or leave, and whether to invest in the production of others’ offspring or to maximize immediate selfish benefits. More generally, these two decisions are inherent in many social contexts where individuals can either stay with social partners and choose to exert or withhold cooperation, or opt out and leave the group or social partner. The use of information leading to dispersal and cooperation decisions in social animals has received little attention, which entails an important gap in our understanding of the conditions selecting for cooperation and advanced social organization. This project aims to study the role of information use for two central decisions of animals in the context of advanced sociality: stay or leave, and exert or withhold cooperation. Empirical evidence is accumulating that in addition to kin selection, other mechanisms are selecting for cooperative behaviour among conspecifics. However, of the four conditions required to sustain stable levels of intraspecific cooperation in an evolutionary framework, direct or indirect information involved in cooperation decisions have been little studied in animals. We shall address this question both with theoretical models and three experimentally well suited model systems including African cichlids, Norway rats and Scolytid ambrosia beetles.
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