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29 Sep 2022 at 01:47
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Bibliography on: Corvids: Communication


Robert J. Robbins is a biologist, an educator, a science administrator, a publisher, an information technologist, and an IT leader and manager who specializes in advancing biomedical knowledge and supporting education through the application of information technology. More About:  RJR | OUR TEAM | OUR SERVICES | THIS WEBSITE

RJR: Recommended Bibliography 29 Sep 2022 at 01:47 Created: 

Corvids: Communication

Wikipedia: A rich vocabulary is an advantage to any animal that must coordinate daily activities with social partners. This is the case for the raven, as each bird jointly defends space with a lifelong mate, quarrels and displays status with others that flock to rich foods, and warns all listeners of danger afoot. The raven is the largest songbird and as such has a brain capable of continual song learning. New, useful, and intriguing noises can be memorized by the raven and imitated as near perfect renditions. These can be incorporated into a growing and individual repertoire. A complex social lifestyle, long lifespan, and songbird brain provides the motive and the machinery a raven needs to remain the most eloquent of avian orators.

Created with PubMed® Query: (communication OR vocalization) AND \(corvus[TIAB] OR corvid[TIAB] OR OR corvids[TIAB] OR corvidae[TIAB] OR crow[TIAB] OR crows[TIAB] OR raven[TIAB] OR ravens[TIAB] OR jay[TIAB] OR jays[TIAB] OR magpie[TIAB] OR magpies[TIAB] OR jackdaw[TIAB] OR jackdaws[TIAB]) NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2022-07-14

Mack C, N Uomini (2022)

Modulation of behavioural laterality in wild New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides): Vocalization, age and function.

Laterality [Epub ahead of print].

The New Caledonian crow (Corvus moneduloides) is known for displaying a unique set of tool-related behaviours, with the bird's bill acting as an individually consistently lateralized effector. However, we still fail to understand how such laterality develops, is modulated or even if its expression is consistent across other behavioural categories. Creating the first ethogram for this species allowed us to examine laterality and vocalisations in a population of wild, free-flying New Caledonian crows using detailed analyses of close-up video footage. We revealed the existence of an overall strong left-sided bias during object manipulation only and which was driven by the adult crows of our focal population, the stabilization of individual preferences occurring during the birds' juvenile years. Individually, at least one crow showed consistent side biases to the right and left within different behavioural categories. Our findings highlight previously unknown variability in behavioural laterality in this species, thus advocating for further investigation. Specifically, we argue that a better understanding of the New Caledonian crow's biology and ecology is required if one wishes to pursue the promising comparative road that laterality could be connected to the evolution of tool-making.

RevDate: 2022-07-05

Giangaspero A, D'Onghia V, Puccini A, et al (2022)

When there is no communication between urban planners and public health operators: urban Dermanyssus gallinae infestations in humans.

Igiene e sanita pubblica, 79(2):62-69.

At the international level, it is necessary to apply urban health strategies that can integrate concrete actions to protect and promote health in urban and architectural planning. In cities, the "urban fauna" mostly consists of synanthropic birds (sparrows, starlings, swallows, martins, jackdaws, crows, hawks, gulls, pigeons) that have adapted to a continuous relationship with humans. These animals enrich the ecological network of biodiversity but also pose health problems. The most successful avian colonizers are pigeons (Columba livia), which proliferate due to the abundance of food available to them and the absence of predators. Pigeons may harbor several organisms that are pathogenic for humans, and among these the role of Dermanyssus gallinae should not be underestimated. In the absence of their preferred pigeon host, these mites will move from the nest to windowsills and window frames from which they attack humans. The Authors show that modern architectural design features in towns can favor the establishment and proliferation of pigeons, contributing to the public health risk for dermanyssosis or other diseases related to these birds. They describe an outbreak of dermanyssosis due to incorrect or unsuitable structural interventions, and highlight the need of re-thinking urban architectural choices in order to safeguard public health.

RevDate: 2022-05-13

Trivedi M, Saxena A, Shroff Z, et al (2022)

Experiences and challenges in accessing hospitalization in a government-funded health insurance scheme: Evidence from early implementation of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PM-JAY) in India.

PloS one, 17(5):e0266798 pii:PONE-D-21-06856.

INTRODUCTION: Government-sponsored health insurance schemes can play an important role in improving the reach of healthcare services. Launched in 2018 in India, Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PM-JAY) is one of the world's largest government-sponsored health insurance schemes. The objective of this study is to understand beneficiaries' experience of availing healthcare services at the empaneled hospitals in PM-JAY. This study examines the responsiveness of PM-JAY by measuring the prompt attention in service delivery, and access to information by the beneficiaries; financial burden experienced by the beneficiaries; and beneficiary's satisfaction with the experience of hospitalization under PMJAY and its determinants.

METHODS: The study was conducted during March-August 2019. Data were obtained through a survey conducted with 200 PM-JAY beneficiaries (or their caregivers) in the Indian states of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The study population comprised of patients who received healthcare services at 14 study hospitals in April 2019. Prompt attention was measured in the form of a) effectiveness of helpdesk, and b) time taken at different stages of hospitalization and discharge events. Access to information by the beneficiaries was measured using the frequency and purpose of text messages and phone calls from the scheme authorities to the beneficiaries. The financial burden was measured in terms of the incidence and magnitude of out-of-pocket payments made by the beneficiaries separate from the cashless payment provided to hospitals by PMJAY. Beneficiaries' satisfaction was measured on a five-point Likert scale.

RESULTS: Socio-economically weaker sections of the society are availing healthcare services under PM-JAY. In Gujarat, the majority of the beneficiaries were made aware of the scheme by the government official channels. In Madhya Pradesh, the majority of the beneficiaries got to know about the scheme from informal sources. For most of the elements of prompt attention, access to information, and beneficiaries' satisfaction, hospitals in Gujarat performed significantly better than the hospitals in Madhya Pradesh. Similarly, for most of the elements of prompt attention, access to information, and beneficiaries' satisfaction, public hospitals performed significantly better than private hospitals. Incidence and magnitude of out-of-pocket payments were significantly higher in Madhya Pradesh as compared to Gujarat, and in private hospitals as compared to the public hospitals.

CONCLUSION: There is a need to focus on Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) activities for PM-JAY, especially in Madhya Pradesh. Capacity-building efforts need to be prioritized for private hospitals as compared to public hospitals, and for Madhya Pradesh as compared to Gujarat. There is a need to focus on enhancing the responsiveness of the scheme, and timely exchange of information with beneficiaries. There is also an urgent need for measures aimed at reducing the out-of-pocket payments made by the beneficiaries.

RevDate: 2022-04-27

Ocañas AR, Danoff-Burg JA, Mulroe K, et al (2022)

Addressing the raven food subsidy challenge by engaging restaurants to close their dumpsters.

Zoo biology [Epub ahead of print].

Ravens have benefitted from resource subsidies provided by humans so much that their population has increased by over 800% in the western Mojave desert over the last 50 years. Our food waste is an especially large subsidy. Raven predation is one of the greatest threats to desert tortoise survival in the California desert. We sought to create and evaluate a behavioral change program among restaurants in Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms, California in the western Mojave with elevated raven populations. Half of the 60 restaurants in these two communities received an intervention encouraging them to close their dumpsters while the other half served as controls with no intervention. Treatment restaurants received two in-person visits to discuss the manifold importance of dumpster closure and laminated information signs to display and extend communication to staff. We surveyed all dumpsters for open/closed status five times before the intervention and five times again 3 months after the intervention. We found a significant increase in closure rates among treatment restaurants due to the interventions, with an average of 9.5% increase toward maximum possible lid closure. Restaurants achieving 80%+ closure received "Gold Star Awards" to further stimulate community-wide behavior change by publicly recognizing and encouraging desired behaviors. We summarize dumpster closure rates from similar interventions in nearby Joshua Tree and across the Coachella Valley to illustrate how local social norms may influence behavior.

RevDate: 2022-03-15

Dida H, Charif F, A Benchabane (2022)

Registration of computed tomography images of a lung infected with COVID-19 based in the new meta-heuristic algorithm HPSGWO.

Multimedia tools and applications pii:12658 [Epub ahead of print].

Computed tomography (CT) helps the radiologist in the rapid and correct detection of a person infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and this by showing the presence of the ground-glass opacity in the lung of with the virus. Tracking the evolution of the spread of the ground-glass opacity (GGO) in the lung of the person infected with the virus needs to study more than one image in different times. The various CT images must be registration to identify the evolution of the ground glass in the lung and to facilitate the study and identification of the virus. Due to the process of registration images is essentially an improvement problem, we present in this paper a new HPSGWO algorithm for registration CT images of a lung infected with the COVID-19. This algorithm is a hybridization of the two algorithms Particle swarm optimization (PSO) and Grey wolf optimizer (GWO). The simulation results obtained after applying the algorithm to the test images show that the proposed approach achieved high-precision and robust registration compared to other methods such as GWO, PSO, Firefly Algorithm (FA), and Crow Searcha Algorithms (CSA).

RevDate: 2022-03-07

Nittono H, Ohashi A, M Komori (2022)

Creation and Validation of the Japanese Cute Infant Face (JCIF) Dataset.

Frontiers in psychology, 13:819428.

Research interest in cuteness perception and its effects on subsequent behavior and physiological responses has recently been increasing. The purpose of the present study was to produce a dataset of Japanese infant faces that are free of portrait rights and can be used for cuteness research. A total of 80 original facial images of 6-month-old infants were collected from their parents. The cuteness level of each picture was rated on a 7-point scale by 200 Japanese people (100 men and 100 women in their 20s-60s). Prototypical high- and low-cuteness faces were created by averaging the top 10 and bottom 10 faces according to the mean cuteness ratings. Then, 50 composite faces were made by mixing two faces randomly chosen from the 60 unused middle-cuteness faces. The normative cuteness ratings of these composite faces were obtained from 229 Japanese men and women in their 20s-60s. The shape of each composite face was transformed to be cuter (+50%) or less cute (-50%) along a continuum between the high- and low-cuteness prototypical faces. A two-alternative forced-choice task (N = 587) confirmed that cuteness discrimination was better than the chance level for all 50 face pairs. Moreover, the results showed that young men had poorer sensitivity to cuteness differences in infant faces than older men and women of any age. This Japanese Cute Infant Face (JCIF, "jay-sif") dataset, including composite face images and normative rating scores, is publicly available online.

RevDate: 2022-02-14
CmpDate: 2022-02-14

Leopold SS (2022)

A Conversation with … Jay Nordlinger, the Writer Who Sees Both Sides.

Clinical orthopaedics and related research, 480(2):217-219.

RevDate: 2022-01-31
CmpDate: 2022-01-31

Kersten Y, Friedrich-Müller B, A Nieder (2021)

A histological study of the song system of the carrion crow (Corvus corone).

The Journal of comparative neurology, 529(10):2576-2595.

The song system of songbirds (oscines) is one of the best studied neuroethological model systems. So far, it has been treated as a relatively constrained sensorimotor system. Songbirds such as crows, however, are also known for their capability to cognitively control their audio-vocal system. Yet, the neuroanatomy of the corvid song system has never been explored systematically. We aim to close this scientific gap by presenting a stereotactic investigation of the extended song system of the carrion crow (Corvus corone), an oscine songbird of the corvid family that has become an interesting model system for cognitive neuroscience. In order to identify and delineate the song nuclei, the ascending auditory nuclei, and the descending vocal-motor nuclei, four stains were applied. In addition to the classical Nissl-, myelin-, and a combination of Nissl-and-myelin staining, staining for tyrosine hydroxylase was used to reveal the distribution of catecholaminergic neurons (dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and adrenergic) in the song system. We show that the crow brain contains the important song-related nuclei, including auditory input and motor output structures, and map them throughout the brain. Fiber-stained sections reveal putative connection patterns between the crow's song nuclei comparable to other songbirds.

RevDate: 2021-11-27

Schneider S, Goettlich S, Diercks C, et al (2021)

Discrimination of Acoustic Stimuli and Maintenance of Graded Alarm Call Structure in Captive Meerkats.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(11): pii:ani11113064.

Animals living in human care for several generations face the risk of losing natural behaviors, which can lead to reduced animal welfare. The goal of this study is to demonstrate that meerkats (Suricata suricatta) living in zoos can assess potential danger and respond naturally based on acoustic signals only. This includes that the graded information of urgency in alarm calls as well as a response to those alarm calls is retained in captivity. To test the response to acoustic signals with different threat potential, meerkats were played calls of various animals differing in size and threat (e.g., robin, raven, buzzard, jackal) while their behavior was observed. The emitted alarm calls were recorded and examined for their graded structure on the one hand and played back to them on the other hand by means of a playback experiment to see whether the animals react to their own alarm calls even in the absence of danger. A fuzzy clustering algorithm was used to analyze and classify the alarm calls. Subsequently, the features that best described the graded structure were isolated using the LASSO algorithm and compared to features already known from wild meerkats. The results show that the graded structure is maintained in captivity and can be described by features such as noise and duration. The animals respond to new threats and can distinguish animal calls that are dangerous to them from those that are not, indicating the preservation of natural cooperative behavior. In addition, the playback experiments show that the meerkats respond to their own alarm calls with vigilance and escape behavior. The findings can be used to draw conclusions about the intensity of alertness in captive meerkats and to adapt husbandry conditions to appropriate welfare.

RevDate: 2021-10-13

Baciadonna L, Solvi C, La Cava S, et al (2021)

Cross-modal individual recognition in the African penguin and the effect of partnership.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 288(1960):20211463.

An animal's ability to recognize another individual by matching their image to their voice suggests they form internal representations of other individuals. To what extent this ability, termed cross-modal individual recognition, extends to birds other than corvids is unknown. Here, we used an expectancy violation paradigm to determine whether a monogamous territorial seabird (Spheniscus demersus) can cross-modally recognize familiar conspecifics (partners or colony-mates). After pairs of penguins spent time together in an isolated area, one of the penguins was released from the area leaving the focal penguin alone. Subsequently, we played contact calls of the released penguin (congruent condition) or a different penguin (incongruent condition). After being paired with a colony-mate, focal penguins' response latency to the auditory stimulus was faster in the incongruent compared to congruent condition, indicating the mismatch violated their expectations. This behavioural pattern was not observed in focal penguins after being paired with their partner. We discuss these different results in the light of penguins' natural behaviour and the evolution of social communication strategies. Our results suggest that cross-modal individual recognition extends to penguins and reveals, in contrast with previously thought, that social communication between members of this endangered species can also use visual cues.

RevDate: 2021-10-06

Raymond S, Schwartz ALW, Thomas RJ, et al (2021)

Temporal patterns of wildlife roadkill in the UK.

PloS one, 16(10):e0258083 pii:PONE-D-20-29431.

Wildlife-vehicle collisions are one of the main causes of mortality for wild mammals and birds in the UK. Here, using a dataset of 54,000+ records collated by a citizen science roadkill recording scheme between 2014-2019, we analyse and present temporal patterns of wildlife roadkill of the 19 most commonly reported taxa in the UK (84% of all reported roadkill). Most taxa (13 out of 19) showed significant and consistent seasonal variations in road mortality and fitted one of two seasonal patterns; bimodal or unimodal: only three species (red fox Vulpes vulpes, European polecat Mustela putorius and Reeves' muntjac deer Muntiacus reevesi) showed no significant seasonality. Species that increase movement in spring and autumn potentially have bimodal patterns in roadkill due to the increase in mate-searching and juvenile dispersal during these respective time periods (e.g. European badger Meles meles). Unimodal patterns likely represent increased mortality due to a single short pulse in activity associated with breeding (e.g. birds) or foraging (e.g. grey squirrels Sciurus carolinensis in autumn). Importantly, these patterns also indicate periods of increased risk for drivers, potentially posing a greater threat to human welfare. In addition to behaviour-driven annual patterns, abiotic factors (temperature and rainfall) explained some variance in roadkill. Notably, high rainfall was associated with decreased observations of two bird taxa (gulls and Eurasian magpies Pica pica) and European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus. By quantifying seasonal patterns in roadkill, we highlight a significant anthropogenic impact on wild species, which is important in relation to conservation, animal welfare, and human safety.

RevDate: 2021-08-14

Wang H, JJ Parris (2021)

Popular media as a double-edged sword: An entertainment narrative analysis of the controversial Netflix series 13 Reasons Why.

PloS one, 16(8):e0255610.

13 Reasons Why is a Netflix original series adapted from Jay Asher's 2007 young adult novel with the same title. Season 1 premiered on March 31, 2017 and featured the sensitive issue of teen suicide along with bullying, substance use, depression, and sexual assault. Unlike the typical teen dramas on popular streaming platforms, this show was created not only for entertainment, but also to stimulate conversations about taboo topics that people often shy away from. However, it also caused significant controversy, especially criticism around the main character Hannah's suicide scene. More than three years into the initial controversy and at least two dozen scholarly publications later, this study is the first to examine the entertainment narrative content of 13 Reasons Why Season 1 to better understand how these health and social issues were portrayed in the show, what specific examples we could identify as potential behavioral modeling, and to what degree it complied with the 2017 WHO guidelines for media professionals. We used the framing theory and social cognitive theory in communication research and media studies as our guiding conceptual frameworks and a narrative analysis approach to investigate a total of 660 cut scenes in all 13 episodes. Our findings provided empirical evidence, along with contextual information and detailed examples, to demonstrate that a popular entertainment program like the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why serves as a double-edged sword. The production team's good will and due diligence are commendable. Yet, additional steps can be taken in the future to effectively promote professional resources and reduce viewers' risks, especially the most vulnerable groups.

RevDate: 2021-08-20

Tobari Y, Masuzawa A, Harada N, et al (2021)

Noradrenergic alpha-2A receptor activation suppresses courtship vocalization in male Japanese quail.

Behavioural brain research, 414:113513.

Male Japanese quail produce high-frequency crow vocalizations to attract females during the breeding season. The nucleus of intercollicularis (ICo) is the midbrain vocal center in birds and electrical stimulation of the ICo produces calls that include crowing. Noradrenaline plays a significant role in sexual behavior but the contribution of noradrenaline in the control of courtship vocalizations in quail has not been well established. Using dose-dependent intracerebroventricular injection of clonidine, an α2-adrenergic receptor-specific agonist, crowing vocalization was immediately suppressed. At the same time as crow suppression by clonidine there was a reduction of immediate early gene, zenk mRNA, in the ICo; no zenk mRNA expression was detected in the dorsomedial division of the nucleus. Using histochemistry, we determined that the ICo receives noradrenergic innervation and expresses α2A-adrenergic receptor mRNA. Taken together, these data suggest that noradrenaline regulates courtship vocalization in quail, possibly via the α2A-adrenergic receptor expressed on ICo neurons.

RevDate: 2021-06-08

Cunha FCR, M Griesser (2021)

Who do you trust? Wild birds use social knowledge to avoid being deceived.

Science advances, 7(22):.

Many species give deceptive warning calls, enabled by the high risk of ignoring them. In Siberian jays, a territorial, group-living bird, individuals give warning calls toward perched predators and mob them. However, intruding neighbors can emit these warning calls in the absence of predators to access food, but breeders often ignore these calls. Playback field experiments show that breeders flee sooner and return later after warning calls of former group members than those of neighbors or unknown individuals. Thus, breeders respond appropriately only to warning calls of previous cooperation partners. This mechanism facilitates the evolution and maintenance of communication vulnerable to deceptive signaling. This conclusion also applies to human language because of its cooperative nature and thus, its vulnerability to deception.

RevDate: 2021-05-24
CmpDate: 2021-05-24

Shrader-Frechette K, AM Biondo (2021)

Health Misinformation about Toxic-Site Harm: The Case for Independent-Party Testing to Confirm Safety.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(8):.

Health misinformation can cause harm if regulators or private remediators falsely claim that a hazardous facility is safe. This misinformation especially threatens the health of children, minorities, and poor people, disproportionate numbers of whom live near toxic facilities. Yet, perhaps because of financial incentives, private remediators may use safety misinformation to justify reduced cleanup. Such incentives exist in nations like the United States, where most toxic-site testing/remediation is semi-privatized or voluntary, conducted by private parties, commercial redevelopers, who can increase profits by underestimating health harm, thus decreasing required testing/remediation. Our objective is to begin to determine whether or not interested parties misrepresent health harm (at hazardous facilities that they test/remediate/redevelop) when they use traditional and social media to claim that these sites are safe. Our hypothesis is that, contrary to the safety claims of the world's largest commercial developer, Coldwell Banker Real Estate/Trammell Crow (CBRE/TCC), the authors' screening assessment, especially its lab-certified, toxic-site, indoor-air tests, show violations of all three prominent government, cancer-safety benchmarks. If so, these facilities require additional testing/remediation, likely put site renters at risk, and may reveal problems with privatized hazardous cleanup. To our knowledge, we provide the first independent tests of privatized, toxic-site assessments before cancer reports occur. Our screening assessment of this hypothesis tests indoor air in rental units on a prominent former weapons-testing site (the US Naval Ordnance Testing Station, Pasadena, California (NOTSPA) that is subject to carcinogenic vapor intrusion by volatile organic compounds, VOCs), then compares test results to the redeveloper's site-safety claims, made to government officials and citizens through traditional and social media. Although NOTSPA toxic soil-gas concentrations are up to nearly a million times above allowed levels, and indoor air was never tested until now, both the regulator and the remediator (CBRE/TCC) have repeatedly claimed on social media that "the site is safe at this time." We used mainly Method TO-17 and two-week sampling with passive, sorbent tubes to assess indoor-air VOCs. Our results show that VOC levels at every location sampled-all in occupied site-rental units-violate all three government-mandated safety benchmarks: environmental screening levels (ESLs), No Significant Risk Levels (NSRLs), and inhalation risks based on the Inhalation Unit Risk (IUR); some violations are two orders of magnitude above multiple safety benchmarks. These results support our hypothesis and suggest a need for independent assessment of privatized cleanups and media-enhanced safety claims about them. If our results can be replicated at other sites, then preventing health misinformation and toxic-facility safety threats may require new strategies, one of which we outline.

RevDate: 2021-08-26
CmpDate: 2021-08-26

Zappa G, LoMauro A, Baranello G, et al (2021)

Intellectual abilities, language comprehension, speech, and motor function in children with spinal muscular atrophy type 1.

Journal of neurodevelopmental disorders, 13(1):9.

BACKGROUND: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a chronic, neuromuscular disease characterized by degeneration of spinal cord motor neurons, resulting in progressive muscular atrophy and weakness. SMA1 is the most severe form characterized by significant bulbar, respiratory, and motor dysfunction. SMA1 prevents children from speaking a clearly understandable and fluent language, with their communication being mainly characterized by eye movements, guttural sounds, and anarthria (type 1a); severe dysarthria (type 1b); and nasal voice and dyslalia (type 1c). The aim of this study was to analyze for the first time cognitive functions, language comprehension, and speech in natural history SMA1 children according to age and subtypes, to develop cognitive and language benchmarks that provide outcomes for the clinical medication trials that are changing SMA1 course/trajectory.

METHODS: This is a retrospective study including 22 children with SMA1 (10 affected by subtype 1a-1b: AB and 12 by 1c: C) aged 3-11 years in clinical stable condition with a coded way to communicate "yes" and "no". Data from the following assessments have been retrieved from patient charts: one-dimensional Raven test (RCPM), to evaluate cognitive development (IQ); ALS Severity Score (ALSSS) to evaluate speech disturbances; Brown Bellugy modified for Italian standards (TCGB) to evaluate language comprehension; and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Infant Test of Neuromuscular Disorders (CHOP-INTEND) to assess motor functioning.

RESULTS: SMA 1AB and 1C children were similar in age, with the former characterized by lower CHOP-INTEND scores compared to the latter. All 22 children had collaborated to RCPM and their median IQ was 120 with no difference (p = 0.945) between AB and C. Global median score of the speech domain of the ALSSS was 5; however, it was 2 in AB children, being significantly lower than C (6.5, p < 0.001). TCGB test had been completed by 13 children, with morphosyntactic comprehension being in the normal range (50). Although ALSSS did not correlate with both IQ and TCGB, it had a strong (p < 0.001) correlation with CHOP-INTEND described by an exponential rise to maximum.

CONCLUSIONS: Although speech and motor function were severely compromised, children with SMA1 showed general intelligence and language comprehension in the normal range. Speech impairment was strictly related to global motor impairment.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Amodio P, Brea J, Farrar BG, et al (2021)

Testing two competing hypotheses for Eurasian jays' caching for the future.

Scientific reports, 11(1):835.

Previous research reported that corvids preferentially cache food in a location where no food will be available or cache more of a specific food in a location where this food will not be available. Here, we consider possible explanations for these prospective caching behaviours and directly compare two competing hypotheses. The Compensatory Caching Hypothesis suggests that birds learn to cache more of a particular food in places where that food was less frequently available in the past. In contrast, the Future Planning Hypothesis suggests that birds recall the 'what-when-where' features of specific past events to predict the future availability of food. We designed a protocol in which the two hypotheses predict different caching patterns across different caching locations such that the two explanations can be disambiguated. We formalised the hypotheses in a Bayesian model comparison and tested this protocol in two experiments with one of the previously tested species, namely Eurasian jays. Consistently across the two experiments, the observed caching pattern did not support either hypothesis; rather it was best explained by a uniform distribution of caches over the different caching locations. Future research is needed to gain more insight into the cognitive mechanism underpinning corvids' caching for the future.

RevDate: 2021-04-14
CmpDate: 2021-04-12

Gallego-Abenza M, Blum CR, T Bugnyar (2021)

Who is crying wolf? Seasonal effect on antipredator response to age-specific alarm calls in common ravens, Corvus corax.

Learning & behavior, 49(1):159-167.

Communication about threats including those posed by the presence of predators occurs mainly through acoustic signals called alarm calls. The comprehension of these calls by receivers and their rapid antipredator response are crucial in terms of survival. However, to avoid overreaction, individuals should evaluate whether or not an antipredator response is needed by paying attention to who is calling. For instance, we could expect adults to be more experienced with predator encounters than juveniles and thus elicit stronger antipredator responses in others when alarming. Similarly, we could expect a stronger response to alarm calls when more than one individual is calling. To test these assumptions, we applied a playback experiment to wild ravens, in which we manipulated the age class (adult or juvenile) and the number (one or two) of the callers. Our results revealed a seasonal effect of age class but no effect of number of callers. Specifically, the ravens responded with stronger antipredator behaviour (vigilance posture) towards alarm calls from adults as compared to juveniles in summer and autumn, but not in spring. We discuss alternative interpretations for this unexpected seasonal pattern and argue for more studies on call-based communication in birds to understand what type of information is relevant under which conditions.

RevDate: 2021-01-05

Gao LF, Zhang W, Zhang HY, et al (2020)

Parental dependence on the nest's spatial cues in offspring recognition decreases with nestling growth in the azure-winged magpie.

Current zoology, 66(6):643-648.

In altricial birds, to address which cues are used by parents to recognize their offspring, and when they switch between cues during reproduction, it has not been well determined. In this study, we address this question in a Tibetan population of the azure-winged magpie Cyanopica cyanus, by examining the dependence of parents on a nest's spatial position in offspring recognition. During the egg and nestling phases, azure-winged magpie nests were translocated to new positions across various distances from their original site, and parental responses to the translocated nests were investigated. Our findings show that a nest's spatial position is not connected with the survival of its young, but might be used as a cue in parental offspring recognition. When nests are translocated to a new position within a certain distance, parents could recognize their nests and returned to resume their parenting behaviors. Parental dependence on the nest's spatial position in offspring recognition is higher during the egg phase than during the nestling phase, and it decreases with the growth of nestlings. After nestlings reach a certain age, the nest' s spatial position was no longer used by parents as the single cue for offspring recognition. These findings suggest that azure-winged magpies switch their cues in offspring recognition during the different stages of reproduction. After parent-offspring communication has been established, the offspring's phenotypic traits may become a more reliable cue than the nest's spatial position in offspring recognition.

RevDate: 2021-05-20
CmpDate: 2021-05-20

Pika S, Sima MJ, Blum CR, et al (2020)

Ravens parallel great apes in physical and social cognitive skills.

Scientific reports, 10(1):20617.

Human children show unique cognitive skills for dealing with the social world but their cognitive performance is paralleled by great apes in many tasks dealing with the physical world. Recent studies suggested that members of a songbird family-corvids-also evolved complex cognitive skills but a detailed understanding of the full scope of their cognition was, until now, not existent. Furthermore, relatively little is known about their cognitive development. Here, we conducted the first systematic, quantitative large-scale assessment of physical and social cognitive performance of common ravens with a special focus on development. To do so, we fine-tuned one of the most comprehensive experimental test-batteries, the Primate Cognition Test Battery (PCTB), to raven features enabling also a direct, quantitative comparison with the cognitive performance of two great ape species. Full-blown cognitive skills were already present at the age of four months with subadult ravens' cognitive performance appearing very similar to that of adult apes in tasks of physical (quantities, and causality) and social cognition (social learning, communication, and theory of mind). These unprecedented findings strengthen recent assessments of ravens' general intelligence, and aid to the growing evidence that the lack of a specific cortical architecture does not hinder advanced cognitive skills. Difficulties in certain cognitive scales further emphasize the quest to develop comparative test batteries that tap into true species rather than human specific cognitive skills, and suggest that socialization of test individuals may play a crucial role. We conclude to pay more attention to the impact of personality on cognitive output, and a currently neglected topic in Animal Cognition-the linkage between ontogeny and cognitive performance.

RevDate: 2021-05-04
CmpDate: 2021-05-04

Prabhakar SK, Rajaguru H, SH Kim (2020)

An Amalgamated Approach to Bilevel Feature Selection Techniques Utilizing Soft Computing Methods for Classifying Colon Cancer.

BioMed research international, 2020:8427574.

One of the deadliest diseases which affects the large intestine is colon cancer. Older adults are typically affected by colon cancer though it can happen at any age. It generally starts as small benign growth of cells that forms on the inside of the colon, and later, it develops into cancer. Due to the propagation of somatic alterations that affects the gene expression, colon cancer is caused. A standardized format for assessing the expression levels of thousands of genes is provided by the DNA microarray technology. The tumors of various anatomical regions can be distinguished by the patterns of gene expression in microarray technology. As the microarray data is too huge to process due to the curse of dimensionality problem, an amalgamated approach of utilizing bilevel feature selection techniques is proposed in this paper. In the first level, the genes or the features are dimensionally reduced with the help of Multivariate Minimum Redundancy-Maximum Relevance (MRMR) technique. Then, in the second level, six optimization techniques are utilized in this work for selecting the best genes or features before proceeding to classification process. The optimization techniques considered in this work are Invasive Weed Optimization (IWO), Teaching Learning-Based Optimization (TLBO), League Championship Optimization (LCO), Beetle Antennae Search Optimization (BASO), Crow Search Optimization (CSO), and Fruit Fly Optimization (FFO). Finally, it is classified with five suitable classifiers, and the best results show when IWO is utilized with MRMR, and then classified with Quadratic Discriminant Analysis (QDA), a classification accuracy of 99.16% is obtained.

RevDate: 2021-01-26
CmpDate: 2021-01-26

Themelin M, Ribic CA, Melillo-Sweeting K, et al (2020)

A new approach to the study of relationship quality in dolphins: Framework and preliminary results.

Behavioural processes, 181:104260.

Proximity and synchronous behaviours from surface observations have been used to measure association patterns within and between dolphin dyads. To facilitate an investigation of relationship quality in dolphins, we applied a method used for primates and ravens that examined three main components to describe relationships: value, security, and compatibility. Using pilot data from long-term research of two study populations for this preliminary assessment, these three components were extracted from PCA of eight behavioural variables with more than 80 % variance accounted for in both study groups. Only pair swim position differed between groups. Although value, security, and compatibility are abstract terms, each is based on behaviours identified as important in dolphin social life, at least for these two populations. Examining relationship quality in dolphins with a method used to illustrate dyadic differences for primates and ravens allows for a quantitative, comparative assessment of sociality across disparate taxa. Although these species are diverse in their anatomies and in their social habitats (e.g., aquatic, terrestrial, aerial), they may well share the basic societal building blocks in the factors affecting how relationships are formed. We discuss how an examination of these behavioural variables facilitates understanding relationship quality in dolphins, as well as how dolphin relationships fit into the context of social animals' society.

RevDate: 2020-10-03

Shpurov IY, Vlasova RM, Rumshiskaya AD, et al (2020)

Neural Correlates of Group Versus Individual Problem Solving Revealed by fMRI.

Frontiers in human neuroscience, 14:290.

Group problem solving is a prototypical complex collective intellectual activity. Psychological research provides compelling evidence that problem solving in groups is both qualitatively and quantitatively different from doing so alone. However, the question of whether individual and collective problem solving involve the same neural substrate has not yet been addressed, mainly due to methodological limitations. In the current study, functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed to compare brain activation when participants solved Raven-like matrix problems in a small group and individually. In the group condition, the participant in the scanner was able to discuss the problem with other team members using a special communication device. In the individual condition, the participant was required to think aloud while solving the problem in the silent presence of the other team members. Greater activation was found in several brain regions during group problem solving, including the medial prefrontal cortex; lateral parietal, cingulate, precuneus and retrosplenial cortices; frontal and temporal poles. These areas have been identified as potential components of the so-called "social brain" on the basis of research using offline judgments of material related to socializing. Therefore, this study demonstrated the actual involvement of these regions in real-time social interactions, such as group problem solving. However, further connectivity analysis revealed that the social brain components are co-activated, but do not increase their coupling during cooperation as would be suggested for a holistic network. We suggest that the social mode of the brain may be described instead as a re-configuration of connectivity between basic networks, and we found decreased connectivity between the language and salience networks in the group compared to the individual condition. A control experiment showed that the findings from the main experiment cannot be entirely accounted for by discourse comprehension. Thus, the study demonstrates affordances provided by the presented new technique for neuroimaging the "group mind," implementing the single-brain version of the second-person neuroscience approach.

RevDate: 2020-12-14
CmpDate: 2020-12-14

Lin Y, Zhang X, Huang Q, et al (2020)

The Prevalence of Dyslexia in Primary School Children and Their Chinese Literacy Assessment in Shantou, China.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(19):.

The epidemiological studies of Chinese developmental dyslexia (DD) in China are still limited. In addition, literacy assessment has seldom been performed for children with dyslexia, due to lack of uniform assessment tools. This study was aimed at investigating the prevalence rate of children with dyslexia, and to evaluate their Chinese reading ability. A total of 2955 students aged 7-12 years were enrolled by randomized cluster sampling. The study was divided into three stages. In stage I, all participating students were asked to finish the Combined Raven Test (CRT) and Chinese Vocabulary Test and Assessment Scale. In stage II, the Chinese teachers and parents of the children with suspected dyslexia were interviewed by psychiatrists, and finished the Dyslexia Checklist for Chinese Children (DCCC). In stage III, these children were evaluated by child psychiatrists for the diagnosis with or without dyslexia, according to the fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), and their Chinese literacy was further evaluated by using the Chinese Reading Ability Test (CRAT). The prevalence rate of children with dyslexia was 5.4% in Shantou city, 8.4% in boys and 2.3% in girls, with a gender ratio of 3.7:1.0. Children with dyslexia scored lower in all the five subscales of the CRAT tests. including phonological awareness, morphological awareness, rapid automatized naming, orthographic awareness, and reading ability than the control group (all p < 0.001). This study suggested that the prevalence rate of Chinese dyslexia in Shantou city is roughly equivalent to that previously reported in China. Children with dyslexia have a relatively lower Chinese reading ability in all assessments.

RevDate: 2020-11-25
CmpDate: 2020-11-25

Connelly F, Johnsson RD, Aulsebrook AE, et al (2020)

Urban noise restricts, fragments, and lightens sleep in Australian magpies.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 267:115484.

Urban areas are inherently noisy, and this noise can disrupt biological processes as diverse as communication, migration, and reproduction. We investigated how exposure to urban noise affects sleep, a process critical to optimal biological functioning, in Australian magpies (Cracticus tibicen). Eight magpies experimentally exposed to noise in captivity for 24-h spent more time awake, and less time in non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) and REM sleep at night than under quiet conditions. Sleep was also fragmented, with more frequent interruptions by wakefulness, shorter sleep episode durations, and less intense non-REM sleep. REM sleep was particularly sensitive to urban noise. Following exposure to noise, magpies recovered lost sleep by engaging in more, and more intense, non-REM sleep. In contrast, REM sleep showed no rebound. This might indicate a long-term cost to REM sleep loss mediated by noise, or contest hypotheses regarding the functional value of this state. Overall, urban noise has extensive, disruptive impacts on sleep composition, architecture, and intensity in magpies. Future work should consider whether noise-induced sleep restriction and fragmentation have long-term consequences.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Jokel A, Armstrong E, Gabis L, et al (2021)

Associations and Dissociations among Phonological Processing Skills, Language Skills and Nonverbal Cognition in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Folia phoniatrica et logopaedica : official organ of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP), 73(3):222-232.

AIMS: The purpose of this study was to examine the nature of phonological processing in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as it pertains to their nonverbal cognitive and linguistic abilities.

METHODS: Twenty-one participants between the ages of 9 and 21 years were administered a nonverbal cognitive assessment (Raven test), a language measure that requires receptive and expressive knowledge of semantics, syntax and morphology, as well as the integration across these language domains (CELF-4), and a measure of phonological processing (CTOPP).

RESULTS: Results show that performance on nonword repetition (NWR) that reflects an aspect of phonological memory was significantly low, whereas performance on phoneme reversal, phoneme elision, blending words and memory for digits was within the normal range. Hierarchical regressions with age, nonverbal intelligence (Raven test) and receptive language (CELF) as predictors showed that for NWR and phoneme elision the receptive part of the CELF was the main significant -predictor, after controlling for age. For phoneme reversal and memory for digits, however, the Raven score was the significant predictor, suggesting that cognitive nonverbal ability is the main factor explaining variability in these tasks.

CONCLUSIONS: A deficit in phonological memory characterizes individuals in the autistic population. This deficit may influence language acquisition in this population consistent with other populations of children with language impairments. Other tasks of phonological awareness, however, might be preserved especially when they do not involve memory for long phonological sequences and when the cognitive abilities are within the norm.

RevDate: 2020-12-14
CmpDate: 2020-12-04

Zhao W, Li H, Zhu X, et al (2020)

Effect of Birdsong Soundscape on Perceived Restorativeness in an Urban Park.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(16):.

Natural soundscapes have beneficial effects on the perceived restorativeness of an environment. This study examines the effect of birdsong, a common natural soundscape, on perceived restorativeness in Harbin Sun Island Park in China. Eight sites were selected and a series of questionnaire surveys on perceived restorativeness soundscape scale (PRSS) of four birdsong types were conducted during summer and winter. Two-hundred and forty respondents participated in this survey. Analysis of the survey results shows that different types of birdsong have different perceived restorativeness effects in different seasons. Crow birdsong has the worst effect on the perceived restorativeness in both summer and winter. Moreover, sound comfort and preference are significantly associated with the perceived restorativeness. The perceived restorativeness soundscape is best when birdsong is at a height of 4 m rather than 0.5 m or 2 m. The demographic/social factors of age, education, and stress level are all correlated with perceived restorativeness. There are suggestions for urban park design, especially with constructed natural elements. Creating a suitable habitat for multiple species of birds will improve perceived restorativeness. Moreover, appropriate activities should be provided in city parks to ensure restorativeness environments, especially for subjects with high levels of education and stress.

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Wang Y, Shen Y, Liu Z, et al (2019)

Words Can Shift: Dynamically Adjusting Word Representations Using Nonverbal Behaviors.

Proceedings of the ... AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence. AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 33(1):7216-7223.

Humans convey their intentions through the usage of both verbal and nonverbal behaviors during face-to-face communication. Speaker intentions often vary dynamically depending on different nonverbal contexts, such as vocal patterns and facial expressions. As a result, when modeling human language, it is essential to not only consider the literal meaning of the words but also the nonverbal contexts in which these words appear. To better model human language, we first model expressive nonverbal representations by analyzing the fine-grained visual and acoustic patterns that occur during word segments. In addition, we seek to capture the dynamic nature of nonverbal intents by shifting word representations based on the accompanying nonverbal behaviors. To this end, we propose the Recurrent Attended Variation Embedding Network (RAVEN) that models the fine-grained structure of nonverbal subword sequences and dynamically shifts word representations based on nonverbal cues. Our proposed model achieves competitive performance on two publicly available datasets for multimodal sentiment analysis and emotion recognition. We also visualize the shifted word representations in different nonverbal contexts and summarize common patterns regarding multimodal variations of word representations.

RevDate: 2020-07-02
CmpDate: 2020-07-01

Lambert ML, M Osvath (2020)

Investigating information seeking in ravens (Corvus corax).

Animal cognition, 23(4):671-680.

Measuring the responses of non-human animals to situations of uncertainty is thought to shed light on an animal's metacognitive processes; namely, whether they monitor their own knowledge states. For example, when presented with a foraging task, great apes and macaques selectively seek information about the location of a food item when they have not seen where it was hidden, compared to when they have. We presented this same information seeking task to ravens, in which a food item was hidden in one of three containers, and subjects could either watch where the food was hidden, infer its location through visual or auditory clues, or were given no information. We found that unlike several ape species and macaques, but similar to capuchin monkeys, the ravens looked inside at least one tube on every trial, but typically only once, inside the baited tube, when they had either witnessed it being baited or could visually infer the reward's location. In contrast, subjects looked more often within trials in which they had not witnessed the baiting or were provided with auditory cues about the reward's location. Several potential explanations for these ceiling levels of looking are discussed, including how it may relate to the uncertainty faced by ravens when retrieving food caches.

RevDate: 2021-05-17
CmpDate: 2021-05-17

Swift KN, Marzluff JM, Templeton CN, et al (2020)

Brain activity underlying American crow processing of encounters with dead conspecifics.

Behavioural brain research, 385:112546.

Animals utilize a variety of auditory and visual cues to navigate the landscape of fear. For some species, including corvids, dead conspecifics appear to act as one such visual cue of danger, and prompt alarm calling by attending conspecifics. Which brain regions mediate responses to dead conspecifics, and how this compares to other threats, has so far only been speculative. Using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) we contrast the metabolic response to visual and auditory cues associated with a dead conspecific among five a priori selected regions in the American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) brain: the hippocampus, nidopallium caudolaterale, striatum, amygdala, and the septum. Using a repeated-measures, fully balanced approach, we exposed crows to four stimuli: a dead conspecific, a dead song sparrow (Melospiza melodia), conspecific alarm calls given in response to a dead crow, and conspecific food begging calls. We find that in response to observations of a dead crow, crows show significant activity in areas associated with higher-order decision-making (NCL), but not in areas associated with social behaviors or fear learning. We do not find strong differences in activation between hearing alarm calls and food begging calls; both activate the NCL. Lastly, repeated exposures to negative stimuli had a marginal effect on later increasing the subjects' brain activity in response to control stimuli, suggesting that crows might quickly learn from negative experiences.

RevDate: 2020-07-16
CmpDate: 2020-07-16

Dutour M, AR Ridley (2020)

Females sing more often and at higher frequencies than males in Australian magpies.

Behavioural processes, 172:104045.

Birdsong is a particularly useful model for animal communication studies. However, current knowledge is derived mainly from the study of male song, and is therefore incomplete. Here, we investigated whether singing behaviour differs between sexes in the cooperatively breeding Western Australian magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen dorsalis). This subspecies lives in territorial groups, and in our population there is a female-biased sex ratio, which may lead to a high level of female-female competition for males. Observations of 94 magpies (54 females, 40 males) revealed that females sang more often than males. As bird song is a sexually multidimensional signal, we also studied amplitude and structure of the main territorial high-amplitude song in magpie; the carol. We found that females sing at the same amplitude as males, but that male and female carols exhibit differences in frequency. These results highlight the importance of studying female song and may change our perception regarding the evolution of sex-specific traits, given the primary focus on male singing as a sexually selected trait in the literature to date. The next step is to discover additional species in which females sing more than males in order to improve our currently incomplete understanding of the evolution of bird song.

RevDate: 2020-06-10
CmpDate: 2020-06-10

Abadi SH, Wacker DW, Newton JG, et al (2019)

Acoustic localization of crows in pre-roost aggregations.

The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 146(6):4664.

Crows are highly intelligent and social creatures. Each night during the non-breeding period, they gather on large pre-roost aggregations as they move towards their communal roost where they sleep. Crows make numerous and varied vocalizations on these pre-roost aggregations, but the purpose of these calls, and vocal communication in general, in these pre-roost aggregations is not fully understood. In this paper, an array of four microphones is used as a non-intrusive means to observe crow vocal behavior in pre-roost aggregations in the absence of human observers. By passively localizing animal vocalizations, the location of individuals can be monitored while simultaneously recording the acoustic structure and organization of their calls. Simulations and experiment are undertaken to study the performance of two time difference of arrival-based methods (hyperbolic location estimator and maximum likelihood estimator) for call localization. The effect of signal-to-noise ratio and uncertainty in measurement on the localization error is presented. By describing, modeling, and testing these techniques in this innovative context, the authors hope that researchers will employ the authors' approaches in future empirical studies to more fully understand crow vocal behavior.

RevDate: 2021-01-06
CmpDate: 2020-11-23

Nieder A, R Mooney (2020)

The neurobiology of innate, volitional and learned vocalizations in mammals and birds.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 375(1789):20190054.

Vocalization is an ancient vertebrate trait essential to many forms of communication, ranging from courtship calls to free verse. Vocalizations may be entirely innate and evoked by sexual cues or emotional state, as with many types of calls made in primates, rodents and birds; volitional, as with innate calls that, following extensive training, can be evoked by arbitrary sensory cues in non-human primates and corvid songbirds; or learned, acoustically flexible and complex, as with human speech and the courtship songs of oscine songbirds. This review compares and contrasts the neural mechanisms underlying innate, volitional and learned vocalizations, with an emphasis on functional studies in primates, rodents and songbirds. This comparison reveals both highly conserved and convergent mechanisms of vocal production in these different groups, despite their often vast phylogenetic separation. This similarity of central mechanisms for different forms of vocal production presents experimentalists with useful avenues for gaining detailed mechanistic insight into how vocalizations are employed for social and sexual signalling, and how they can be modified through experience to yield new vocal repertoires customized to the individual's social group. This article is part of the theme issue 'What can animal communication teach us about human language?'

RevDate: 2020-09-28

Anand PK, Shin DR, Saxena N, et al (2019)

Accelerated Reliability Growth Test for Magnetic Resonance Imaging System Using Time-of-Flight Three-Dimensional Pulse Sequence.

Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland), 9(4): pii:diagnostics9040164.

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system is a complex, high cost, and long-life product. It is a widely known fact that performing a system reliability test of a MRI system during the development phase is a challenging task. The major challenges include sample size, high test cost, and long test duration. This paper introduces a novel approach to perform a MRI system reliability test in a reasonably acceptable time with one sample size. Our approach is based on an accelerated reliability growth test, which consists of test cycle made of a very high-energy time-of-flight three-dimensional (TOF3D) pulse sequence representing an actual hospital usage scenario. First, we construct a nominal day usage scenario based on actual data collected from an MRI system used inside the hospital. Then, we calculate the life-time stress based on a usage scenario. Finally, we develop an accelerated reliability growth test cycle based on a TOF3D pulse sequence that exerts highest vibration energy on the gradient coil and MRI system. We use a vibration energy model to map the life-time stress and reduce the test duration from 537 to 55 days. We use a Crow AMSAA plot to demonstrate that system design reaches its useful life after crossing the infant mortality phase.

RevDate: 2021-01-10
CmpDate: 2020-11-03

Holtmann B, Buskas J, Steele M, et al (2019)

Dominance relationships and coalitionary aggression against conspecifics in female carrion crows.

Scientific reports, 9(1):15922.

Cooperation is a prevailing feature of many animal systems. Coalitionary aggression, where a group of individuals engages in coordinated behaviour to the detriment of conspecific targets, is a form of cooperation involving complex social interactions. To date, evidence has been dominated by studies in humans and other primates with a clear bias towards studies of male-male coalitions. We here characterize coalitionary aggression behaviour in a group of female carrion crows consisting of recruitment, coordinated chase, and attack. The individual of highest social rank liaised with the second most dominant individual to engage in coordinated chase and attack of a lower ranked crow on several occasions. Despite active intervention by the third most highly ranked individual opposing the offenders, the attack finally resulted in the death of the victim. All individuals were unrelated, of the same sex, and naïve to the behaviour excluding kinship, reproduction, and social learning as possible drivers. Instead, the coalition may reflect a strategy of the dominant individual to secure long-term social benefits. Overall, the study provides evidence that members of the crow family engage in coordinated alliances directed against conspecifics as a possible means to manipulate their social environment.

RevDate: 2020-03-09
CmpDate: 2020-02-27

Brecht KF, Hage SR, Gavrilov N, et al (2019)

Volitional control of vocalizations in corvid songbirds.

PLoS biology, 17(8):e3000375.

Songbirds are renowned for their acoustically elaborate songs. However, it is unclear whether songbirds can cognitively control their vocal output. Here, we show that crows, songbirds of the corvid family, can be trained to exert control over their vocalizations. In a detection task, three male carrion crows rapidly learned to emit vocalizations in response to a visual cue with no inherent meaning (go trials) and to withhold vocalizations in response to another cue (catch trials). Two of these crows were then trained on a go/nogo task, with the cue colors reversed, in addition to being rewarded for withholding vocalizations to yet another cue (nogo trials). Vocalizations in response to the detection of the go cue were temporally precise and highly reliable in all three crows. Crows also quickly learned to withhold vocal output in nogo trials, showing that vocalizations were not produced by an anticipation of a food reward in correct trials. The results demonstrate that corvids can volitionally control the release and onset of their vocalizations, suggesting that songbird vocalizations are under cognitive control and can be decoupled from affective states.

RevDate: 2020-01-06
CmpDate: 2020-01-06

S R SC, H Rajaguru (2019)

Lung Cancer Detection using Probabilistic Neural Network with modified Crow-Search Algorithm.

Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention : APJCP, 20(7):2159-2166.

Objective: Lung cancer is a type of malignancy that occurs most commonly among men and the third most common type of malignancy among women. The timely recognition of lung cancer is necessary for decreasing the effect of death rate worldwide. Since the symptoms of lung cancer are identified only at an advanced stage, it is essential to predict the disease at its earlier stage using any medical imaging techniques. This work aims to propose a classification methodology for lung cancer automatically at the initial stage. Methods: The work adopts computed tomography (CT) imaging modality of lungs for the examination and probabilistic neural network (PNN) for the classification task. After pre-processing of the input lung images, feature extraction for the work is carried out based on the Gray-Level Co-Occurrence Matrix (GLCM) and chaotic crow search algorithm (CCSA) based feature selection is proposed. Results: Specificity, Sensitivity, Positive and Negative Predictive Values, Accuracy are the computation metrics used. The results indicate that the CCSA based feature selection effectively provides an accuracy of 90%. Conclusion: The strategy for the selection of appropriate extracted features is employed to improve the efficiency of classification and the work shows that the PNN with CCSA based feature selection gives an improved classification than without using CCSA for feature selection.

RevDate: 2021-05-14
CmpDate: 2020-09-14

Moberly AC, J Reed (2019)

Making Sense of Sentences: Top-Down Processing of Speech by Adult Cochlear Implant Users.

Journal of speech, language, and hearing research : JSLHR, 62(8):2895-2905.

Purpose Speech recognition relies upon a listener's successful pairing of the acoustic-phonetic details from the bottom-up input with top-down linguistic processing of the incoming speech stream. When the speech is spectrally degraded, such as through a cochlear implant (CI), this role of top-down processing is poorly understood. This study explored the interactions of top-down processing, specifically the use of semantic context during sentence recognition, and the relative contributions of different neurocognitive functions during speech recognition in adult CI users. Method Data from 41 experienced adult CI users were collected and used in analyses. Participants were tested for recognition and immediate repetition of speech materials in the clear. They were asked to repeat 2 sets of sentence materials, 1 that was semantically meaningful and 1 that was syntactically appropriate but semantically anomalous. Participants also were tested on 4 visual measures of neurocognitive functioning to assess working memory capacity (Digit Span; Wechsler, 2004), speed of lexical access (Test of Word Reading Efficiency; Torgeson, Wagner, & Rashotte, 1999), inhibitory control (Stroop; Stroop, 1935), and nonverbal fluid reasoning (Raven's Progressive Matrices; Raven, 2000). Results Individual listeners' inhibitory control predicted recognition of meaningful sentences when controlling for performance on anomalous sentences, our proxy for the quality of the bottom-up input. Additionally, speed of lexical access and nonverbal reasoning predicted recognition of anomalous sentences. Conclusions Findings from this study identified inhibitory control as a potential mechanism at work when listeners make use of semantic context during sentence recognition. Moreover, speed of lexical access and nonverbal reasoning were associated with recognition of sentences that lacked semantic context. These results motivate the development of improved comprehensive rehabilitative approaches for adult patients with CIs to optimize use of top-down processing and underlying core neurocognitive functions.

RevDate: 2021-07-16
CmpDate: 2021-07-16

Parvathy VS, S Pothiraj (2020)

Multi-modality medical image fusion using hybridization of binary crow search optimization.

Health care management science, 23(4):661-669.

In clinical applications, single modality images do not provide sufficient diagnostic information. Therefore, it is necessary to combine the advantages or complementarities of different modalities of images. In this paper, we propose an efficient medical image fusion system based on discrete wavelet transform and binary crow search optimization (BCSO) algorithm. Here, we consider two different patterns of images as the input of the system and the output is the fused image. In this approach, at first, to enhance the image, we apply a median filter which is used to remove the noise present in the input image. Then, we apply a discrete wavelet transform on both the input modalities. Then, the approximation coefficients of modality 1 and detailed coefficients of modality 2 are combined. Similarly, approximation coefficients of modality 2 and detailed coefficients of modality 1 are combined. Finally, we fuse the two modality information using novel fusion rule. The fusion rule parameters are optimally selected using binary crow search optimization (BCSO) algorithm. To evaluate the performance of the proposed method, we used different quality metrics such as structural similarity index measure (SSIM), Fusion Factor (FF), and entropy. The presented model shows superior results with 6.63 of entropy, 0.849 of SSIM and 5.9 of FF.

RevDate: 2020-07-30
CmpDate: 2020-07-30

Congdon JV, Hahn AH, Filippi P, et al (2019)

Hear them roar: A comparison of black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) and human (Homo sapiens) perception of arousal in vocalizations across all classes of terrestrial vertebrates.

Journal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983), 133(4):520-541.

Recently, evidence for acoustic universals in vocal communication was found by demonstrating that humans can identify levels of arousal in vocalizations produced by species across three biological classes (Filippi et al., 2017). Here, we extend this work by testing whether two vocal learning species, humans and chickadees, can discriminate vocalizations of high and low arousal using operant discrimination go/no-go tasks. Stimuli included vocalizations from nine species: giant panda, American alligator, common raven, hourglass treefrog, African elephant, Barbary macaque, domestic pig, black-capped chickadee, and human. Subjects were trained to respond to high or low arousal vocalizations, then tested with additional high and low arousal vocalizations produced by each species. Chickadees (Experiment 1) and humans (Experiment 2) learned to discriminate between high and low arousal stimuli and significantly transferred the discrimination to additional panda, human, and chickadee vocalizations. Finally, we conducted discriminant function analyses using four acoustic measures, finding evidence suggesting that fundamental frequency played a role in responding during the task. However, these analyses also suggest roles for other acoustic factors as well as familiarity. In sum, the results from these studies provide evidence that chickadees and humans are capable of perceiving arousal in vocalizations produced by multiple species. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

RevDate: 2020-01-30
CmpDate: 2020-01-30

Mudry A, RJ Ruben (2019)

The Fox and the Crow: Predatory Open Access Journals in Otolaryngology.

Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 161(2):193-194.

Otolaryngologists regularly receive invitations from open access otolaryngology–head and neck surgery journals to submit papers or to join the editorial board. Some of these journals are considered “predatory.” There has been no published attempt to see if bogus otolaryngological articles would be accepted by such journals. We sent a fake article describing a supposed otosclerotic lesion localized in the fallopian tube and surgically treated by phacoemulsification of the stapes to 41 such journals. Eight journals accepted the paper, 7 requested structural revision, 2 requested revision even though the reviewer recommended rejection, 4 rejected the paper only because they found it had already been published by another open access journal (without the authors’ knowledge), and 2 rejected the paper. Eighteen journals had not responded after 6 weeks. A contemporary retelling of the poem “The Fox and the Crow” concludes our article, which illustrates predatory practices among specific open access otolaryngology journals.

RevDate: 2020-03-23
CmpDate: 2020-03-23

Adriaense JEC, Martin JS, Schiestl M, et al (2019)

Negative emotional contagion and cognitive bias in common ravens (Corvus corax).

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(23):11547-11552.

Emotional contagion is described as an emotional state matching between subjects, and has been suggested to facilitate communication and coordination in complex social groups. Empirical studies typically focus on the measurement of behavioral contagion and emotional arousal, yet, while highly important, such an approach often disregards an additional evaluation of the underlying emotional valence. Here, we studied emotional contagion in ravens by applying a judgment bias paradigm to assess emotional valence. We experimentally manipulated positive and negative affective states in demonstrator ravens, to which they responded with increased attention and interest in the positive condition, as well as increased redirected behavior and a left-eye lateralization in the negative condition. During this emotion manipulation, another raven observed the demonstrator's behavior, and we used a bias paradigm to assess the emotional valence of the observer to determine whether emotional contagion had occurred. Observers showed a pessimism bias toward the presented ambiguous stimuli after perceiving demonstrators in a negative state, indicating emotional state matching based on the demonstrators' behavioral cues and confirming our prediction of negative emotional contagion. We did not find any judgment bias in the positive condition. This result critically expands upon observational studies of contagious play in ravens, providing experimental evidence that emotional contagion is present not only in mammalian but also in avian species. Importantly, this finding also acts as a stepping stone toward understanding the evolution of empathy, as this essential social skill may have emerged across these taxa in response to similar socioecological challenges.

RevDate: 2020-03-02
CmpDate: 2020-03-02

Krupenye C, J Call (2019)

Theory of mind in animals: Current and future directions.

Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Cognitive science, 10(6):e1503.

Theory of mind (ToM; a.k.a., mind-reading, mentalizing, mental-state attribution, and perspective-taking) is the ability to ascribe mental states, such as desires and beliefs, to others, and it is central to the unique forms of communication, cooperation, and culture that define our species. As a result, for 40 years, researchers have endeavored to determine whether ToM is itself unique to humans. Investigations in other species (e.g., apes, monkeys, corvids) are essential to understand the mechanistic underpinnings and evolutionary origins of this capacity across taxa, including humans. We review the literature on ToM in nonhuman animals, suggesting that some species share foundational social cognitive mechanisms with humans. We focus principally on innovations of the last decade and pressing directions for future work. Underexplored types of social cognition have been targeted, including ascription of mental states, such as desires and beliefs, that require simultaneously representing one's own and another's conflicting motives or views of the world. Ongoing efforts probe the motivational facets of ToM, how flexibly animals can recruit social cognitive skills across cooperative and competitive settings, and appropriate motivational contexts for comparative inquiry. Finally, novel methodological and empirical approaches have brought new species (e.g., lemurs, dogs) into the lab, implemented critical controls to elucidate underlying mechanisms, and contributed powerful new techniques (e.g., looking-time, eye-tracking) that open the door to unexplored approaches for studying animal minds. These innovations in cognition, motivation, and method promise fruitful progress in the years to come, in understanding the nature and origin of ToM in humans and other species. This article is categorized under: Cognitive Biology > Evolutionary Roots of Cognition Psychology > Comparative Psychology Neuroscience > Cognition.

RevDate: 2020-09-29

Milakovich J, Simonds VW, Held S, et al (2018)

Children as Agents of Change: Parent Perceptions of Child-driven Environmental Health Communication in the Crow Community.

Journal of health disparities research and practice, 11(3):115-127.

RevDate: 2020-10-01

Policht R, Hart V, Goncharov D, et al (2019)

Vocal recognition of a nest-predator in black grouse.

PeerJ, 7:e6533.

Corvids count among the important predators of bird nests. They are vocal animals and one can expect that birds threatened by their predation, such as black grouse, are sensitive to and recognize their calls. Within the framework of field studies, we noticed that adult black grouse were alerted by raven calls during periods outside the breeding season. Since black grouse are large, extremely precocial birds, this reaction can hardly be explained by sensitization specifically to the threat of nest predation by ravens. This surprising observation prompted us to study the phenomenon more systematically. According to our knowledge, the response of birds to corvid vocalization has been studied in altricial birds only. We tested whether the black grouse distinguishes and responds specifically to playback calls of the common raven. Black grouse recognized raven calls and were alerted, displaying typical neck stretching, followed by head scanning, and eventual escape. Surprisingly, males tended to react faster and exhibited a longer duration of vigilance behavior compared to females. Although raven calls are recognized by adult black grouse out of the nesting period, they are not directly endangered by the raven. We speculate that the responsiveness of adult grouse to raven calls might be explained as a learned response in juveniles from nesting hens that is then preserved in adults, or by a known association between the raven and the red fox. In that case, calls of the raven would be rather interpreted as a warning signal of probable proximity of the red fox.

RevDate: 2020-09-18
CmpDate: 2020-09-18

Shimmura T, Tamura M, Ohashi S, et al (2019)

Cholecystokinin induces crowing in chickens.

Scientific reports, 9(1):3978.

Animals that communicate using sound are found throughout the animal kingdom. Interestingly, in contrast to human vocal learning, most animals can produce species-specific patterns of vocalization without learning them from their parents. This phenomenon is called innate vocalization. The underlying molecular basis of both vocal learning in humans and innate vocalization in animals remains unknown. The crowing of a rooster is also innately controlled, and the upstream center is thought to be localized in the nucleus intercollicularis (ICo) of the midbrain. Here, we show that the cholecystokinin B receptor (CCKBR) is a regulatory gene involved in inducing crowing in roosters. Crowing is known to be a testosterone (T)-dependent behavior, and it follows that roosters crow but not hens. Similarly, T-administration induces chicks to crow. By using RNA-sequencing to compare gene expression in the ICo between the two comparison groups that either crow or do not crow, we found that CCKBR expression was upregulated in T-containing groups. The expression of CCKBR and its ligand, cholecystokinin (CCK), a neurotransmitter, was observed in the ICo. We also showed that crowing was induced by intracerebroventricular administration of an agonist specific for CCKBR. Our findings therefore suggest that the CCK system induces innate vocalization in roosters.

RevDate: 2020-09-30

de Luna-Dias C, SP de Carvalho-E-Silva (2019)

Calls of Boanalatistriata (Caramaschi & Cruz, 2004) (Amphibia, Anura, Hylidae), an endemic tree frog from the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil.


Bioacoustical data are useful for studying amphibians, especially their conservation, taxonomy, and evolution, among others. Of the 12 species of the Boanapolytaenia clade, only B.buriti and B.latistriata have no published information about their advertisement calls. We recorded four males of B.latistriata in its type locality at Parque Nacional do Itatiaia, south-eastern Brazil. We used a Roland R26 digital recorder with a Sennheiser ME-67 microphone and analysed the recordings using the Raven Pro 1.5 software. We recorded two different types of calls (call A and call B). Both were composed of one pulsed note and presented a slightly ascending-descending frequency modulation. Call A was more frequent, having durations between 0.042 and 0.093 s with the dominant frequency ranging from 3375.0 to 3937.5 Hz, and was composed of 11 to 21 pulses separated by intervals that were not fully silent. Call B had durations between 0.711 and 1.610 s, with dominant frequency from 3281.2 to 3750.0 Hz, and was composed of 11 to 29 pulses separated by fully silent intervals. Among the B.polytaenia clade, the calls of B.latistriata are more similar to those of B.bandeirantes, B.beckeri, B.polytaenia, and B.aff.beckeri. The calls of B.latistriata differ from these species in its lower dominant frequency. Boanalatistriata present a short, single-note call with a lower pulse period (call A) and a long call with higher pulse period (call B), which differ from the other species of the clade. The coefficients of variation for the various bioacoustical attributes were calculated within- and between-males and these have been discussed. We also report a fight event between two males of B.latistriata. This is the first report of a fight in members of the B.polytaenia clade.

RevDate: 2020-07-14
CmpDate: 2020-07-14

Simonds VW, Kim FL, LaVeaux D, et al (2019)

Guardians of the Living Water: Using a Health Literacy Framework to Evaluate a Child as Change Agent Intervention.

Health education & behavior : the official publication of the Society for Public Health Education, 46(2):349-359.

BACKGROUND: American Indian communities in the United States experience considerable health inequities, including increased exposure to environmental contaminants. Consequently, community members of the Apsáalooke (Crow) Nation identified the lack of water-related environmental knowledge among children as an area of concern.

AIM: The purpose of this study was to provide a feasibility evaluation of an increasingly sophisticated environmental health literacy program for children.

METHOD: A community-academic partnership developed and piloted the Guardians of the Living Water program to increase environmental health literacy among children and their families on the Crow reservation. Nutbeam's framework for health literacy, a schema based on functional, interactive, and critical literacy, shaped the program evaluation. We used a within-subjects, quasi-experimental design without a control group. Interviews with children and parents were used to assess the feasibility of the program, while pre-/posttests assessed changes in knowledge, skills, and behavior.

RESULTS: Compared with preintervention responses, those from postintervention indicated significant increases for selected knowledge and attitude components. Based on qualitative interviews with children and caregivers, the camp was a valuable experience and increased knowledge of water quality science and reinforced cultural knowledge.

DISCUSSION: This success of our program stems from the trust initially built between partners and then expanded throughout the community. The program and the evaluation benefited from both the health literacy framework and from our integration of Apsáalooke values.

CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that a community-based intervention designed to increase environmental health literacy among youth and their social networks is feasible and acceptable to this American Indian community.

RevDate: 2019-08-09
CmpDate: 2019-08-09

Ţălu Ş, Morozov IA, Sobola D, et al (2018)

Multifractal Characterization of Butterfly Wings Scales.

Bulletin of mathematical biology, 80(11):2856-2870.

A lot of insect families have physical structures created by evolution for coloration. These structures are a source of ideas for new bio-inspired materials. The aim of this study was to quantitatively characterize the micromorphology of butterfly wings scales using atomic force microscopy and multifractal analysis. Two types of butterflies, Euploea mulciber ("striped blue crow") and Morpho didius ("giant blue morpho"), were studied. The three-dimensional (3D) surface texture of the butterfly wings scales was investigated focusing on two areas: where the perceived colors strongly depend on and where they do not depend on the viewing angle. The results highlight a correlation between the surface coloration and 3D surface microtexture of butterfly wings scales.

RevDate: 2021-01-09
CmpDate: 2019-04-19

Szipl G, Ringler E, T Bugnyar (2018)

Attacked ravens flexibly adjust signalling behaviour according to audience composition.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 285(1880):.

A fundamental attribute of social intelligence is the ability to monitor third-party relationships, which has been repeatedly demonstrated in primates, and recently also in captive ravens. It is yet unknown how ravens make use of this ability when dealing with different types of social relationships simultaneously during complex real-life situations. Free-ranging non-breeder ravens live in societies characterized by high fission-fusion dynamics and structured by age, pair-bond status and kinship. Here, we show that free-ranging ravens modify communication during conflicts according to audience composition. When being attacked by dominant conspecifics, victims of aggression signal their distress via defensive calls. Victims increased call rates when their kin were in the bystander audience, but reduced call rates when the bystanders were bonding partners of their aggressors. Hence, ravens use social knowledge flexibly and probably based on their own need (i.e. alert nearby allies and avoid alerting nearby rivals).

RevDate: 2020-10-01

Forti LR, Foratto RM, Márquez R, et al (2018)

Current knowledge on bioacoustics of the subfamily Lophyohylinae (Hylidae, Anura) and description of Ocellated treefrog Itapotihyla langsdorffii vocalizations.

PeerJ, 6:e4813.

Background: Anuran vocalizations, such as advertisement and release calls, are informative for taxonomy because species recognition can be based on those signals. Thus, a proper acoustic description of the calls may support taxonomic decisions and may contribute to knowledge about amphibian phylogeny.

Methods: Here we present a perspective on advertisement call descriptions of the frog subfamily Lophyohylinae, through a literature review and a spatial analysis presenting bioacoustic coldspots (sites with high diversity of species lacking advertisement call descriptions) for this taxonomic group. Additionally, we describe the advertisement and release calls of the still poorly known treefrog, Itapotihyla langsdorffii. We analyzed recordings of six males using the software Raven Pro 1.4 and calculated the coefficient of variation for classifying static and dynamic acoustic properties.

Results and Discussion: We found that more than half of the species within the subfamily do not have their vocalizations described yet. Most of these species are distributed in the western and northern Amazon, where recording sampling effort should be strengthened in order to fill these gaps. The advertisement call of I. langsdorffii is composed of 3-18 short unpulsed notes (mean of 13 ms long), presents harmonic structure, and has a peak dominant frequency of about 1.4 kHz. This call usually presents amplitude modulation, with decreasing intensity along the sequence of notes. The release call is a simple unpulsed note with an average duration of 9 ms, and peak dominant frequency around 1.8 kHz. Temporal properties presented higher variations than spectral properties at both intra- and inter-individual levels. However, only peak dominant frequency was static at intra-individual level. High variability in temporal properties and lower variations related to spectral ones is usual for anurans; The first set of variables is determined by social environment or temperature, while the second is usually related to species-recognition process. Here we review and expand the acoustic knowledge of the subfamily Lophyohylinae, highlighting areas and species for future research.

RevDate: 2019-11-25
CmpDate: 2019-11-25

Woods RD, Kings M, McIvor GE, et al (2018)

Caller characteristics influence recruitment to collective anti-predator events in jackdaws.

Scientific reports, 8(1):7343.

Across the animal kingdom, examples abound of individuals coming together to repel external threats. When such collective actions are initiated by recruitment signals, individuals may benefit from being selective in whom they join, so the identity of the initiator may determine the magnitude of the group response. However, the role of signaller discrimination in coordinating group-level responses has yet to be tested. Here we show that in wild jackdaws, a colonial corvid species, collective responses to anti-predator recruitment calls are mediated by caller characteristics. In playbacks next to nestboxes, the calls of nestbox residents attracted most recruits, followed in turn by other colony members, non-colony members and rooks (a sympatric corvid). Playbacks in fields outside nestbox colonies, where the immediate threat to broods was lower, showed similar results, with highest recruitment to nearby colony members' calls. Responses were further influenced by caller sex: calls from non-colony member females were less likely to elicit responsive scolding by recruits than other calls, potentially reflecting social rank associated with sex and colony membership. These results show that vocal discrimination mediates jackdaws' collective responses and highlight the need for further research into the cognitive basis of collective actions in animal groups.

RevDate: 2020-10-01

Boeckle M, Szipl G, T Bugnyar (2018)

Raven food calls indicate sender's age and sex.

Frontiers in zoology, 15:5.

Background: Acoustic parameters of animal signals have been shown to correlate with various phenotypic characteristics of the sender. These acoustic characteristics can be learned and categorized and thus are a basis for perceivers' recognition abilities. One of the most demanding capacities is individual recognition, achievable only after repeated interactions with the same individual. Still, class-level recognition might be potentially important to perceivers who have not previously encountered callers but can classify unknown individuals according to the already learned categories. Especially for species with high fission-fusion dynamics that repeatedly encounter unknown individuals it may be advantageous to develop class-level recognition. We tested whether frequency-, temporal-, and amplitude-related acoustic parameters of vocalizations emitted by ravens, a species showing high fission-fusion dynamics in non-breeder aggregations, are connected to phenotypic characteristics and thus have the potential for class-level recognition.

Results: The analysis of 418 food calls revealed that some components summarizing acoustic parameters were differentiated by age-classes and sex.

Conclusions: Together, the results provide evidence for the co-variation of vocal characteristics and respective sex and age categories, a prerequisite for class-level recognition in perceivers. Perceivers that are ignorant of the caller's identity can thus potentially recognize these class-level differences for decision-making processes in feeding contexts.

RevDate: 2019-03-26
CmpDate: 2019-03-26

Merzagora I, Amadasi A, Blandino A, et al (2018)

The expert and the foreigner: Reflections of forensic transcultural psychopathology on a total of 86 reports by experts on criminal liability.

International journal of law and psychiatry, 57:24-30.

In recent times Italy has been experiencing massive migration flows, therefore the attention on the issue of crimes committed by foreigners is increasing. But within trials, in the evaluation of criminal liability of foreigners, how do experts deal with them? Do the performed evaluations take cultural diversity into account? The present study took origin from these questions and examined a total of 86 reports by experts on criminal liability of foreign persons (16 females and 70 males). Examinees have been declared indictable in 31 cases (36%), totally mentally ill in 40 cases (45%) and with diminished liability in 15 cases (17%); when liability was excluded, examinees were diagnosed in 11 cases with mood disorders, in 23 cases with personality disorders, in 4 cases with adaptation disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder and in 10 cases with different diagnoses (in some cases more than one diagnosis was present). None of the reports used the section of the DSM concerning "cultural framing". Tests were used in 48 surveys (56% of cases), with more tests for each examinee, for a total of 39 Rorschach, 14 Raven test, 8 Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory - MMPI - 4 Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale - WAIS - level test, 8 Thematic Apperception test. When subjects were diagnosed with mental disorder and with diminished liability, 42 (79%) were also socially dangerous. Results highlight the importance of the relationship between the expert and the foreigner. Many factors ought to be critically considered by experts dealing with foreigners, like cultural awareness, knowledge of verbal communication, critical consideration of meanings and diagnosis, knowledge of the foreigners' personal story, presence of tests with inexact information and cultural fallacy.

RevDate: 2018-10-23
CmpDate: 2018-02-28

Romero-García S, Moscoso-Mártir A, Müller J, et al (2018)

Wideband multi-stage CROW filters with relaxed fabrication tolerances.

Optics express, 26(4):4723-4737.

We present wideband and large free spectral range optical filters with steep passband edges for the selection of adjacent WDM communication channels that can be reliably fabricated with mainstream silicon photonics technology. The devices are based on three cascaded stages of coupled resonator optical waveguides loaded on a common bus waveguide. These stages differ in the number of resonators but are implemented with exactly identical unit cells, comprised of a matched racetrack resonator layout and a uniform spacing between cells. The different number of resonators in each stage allows a high rejection in the through port response enabled by the interleaved distribution of zeros. Furthermore, the exact replication of a unique cell avoids the passband ripple and high lobes in the stopband that typically arise in apodized coupled resonator optical waveguide based filters due to fabrication and coupling induced variations in the effective path length of each resonator. Silicon photonics filters designed for the selection of 9 adjacent optical carriers generated by a 100 GHz free spectral range comb laser have been successfully fabricated with 248 nm DUV lithography, achieving an out-of-band rejection above 11 dB and an insertion loss of less than 0.5 dB for the worst channels.

RevDate: 2018-05-22
CmpDate: 2018-05-22

Claes R, Muyshondt PGG, Dirckx JJJ, et al (2018)

Do high sound pressure levels of crowing in roosters necessitate passive mechanisms for protection against self-vocalization?.

Zoology (Jena, Germany), 126:65-70.

High sound pressure levels (>120dB) cause damage or death of the hair cells of the inner ear, hence causing hearing loss. Vocalization differences are present between hens and roosters. Crowing in roosters is reported to produce sound pressure levels of 100dB measured at a distance of 1m. In this study we measured the sound pressure levels that exist at the entrance of the outer ear canal. We hypothesize that roosters may benefit from a passive protective mechanism while hens do not require such a mechanism. Audio recordings at the level of the entrance of the outer ear canal of crowing roosters, made in this study, indeed show that a protective mechanism is needed as sound pressure levels can reach amplitudes of 142.3dB. Audio recordings made at varying distances from the crowing rooster show that at a distance of 0.5m sound pressure levels already drop to 102dB. Micro-CT scans of a rooster and chicken head show that in roosters the auditory canal closes when the beak is opened. In hens the diameter of the auditory canal only narrows but does not close completely. A morphological difference between the sexes in shape of a bursa-like slit which occurs in the outer ear canal causes the outer ear canal to close in roosters but not in hens.

RevDate: 2018-11-13
CmpDate: 2018-11-12

Eggers MJ, Doyle JT, Lefthand MJ, et al (2018)

Community Engaged Cumulative Risk Assessment of Exposure to Inorganic Well Water Contaminants, Crow Reservation, Montana.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(1):.

An estimated 11 million people in the US have home wells with unsafe levels of hazardous metals and nitrate. The national scope of the health risk from consuming this water has not been assessed as home wells are largely unregulated and data on well water treatment and consumption are lacking. Here, we assessed health risks from consumption of contaminated well water on the Crow Reservation by conducting a community-engaged, cumulative risk assessment. Well water testing, surveys and interviews were used to collect data on contaminant concentrations, water treatment methods, well water consumption, and well and septic system protection and maintenance practices. Additive Hazard Index calculations show that the water in more than 39% of wells is unsafe due to uranium, manganese, nitrate, zinc and/or arsenic. Most families' financial resources are limited, and 95% of participants do not employ water treatment technologies. Despite widespread high total dissolved solids, poor taste and odor, 80% of families consume their well water. Lack of environmental health literacy about well water safety, pre-existing health conditions and limited environmental enforcement also contribute to vulnerability. Ensuring access to safe drinking water and providing accompanying education are urgent public health priorities for Crow and other rural US families with low environmental health literacy and limited financial resources.

RevDate: 2020-10-01

Szipl G, Ringler E, Spreafico M, et al (2017)

Calls during agonistic interactions vary with arousal and raise audience attention in ravens.

Frontiers in zoology, 14:57.

Background: Acoustic properties of vocalizations can vary with the internal state of the caller, and may serve as reliable indicators for a caller's emotional state, for example to prevent conflicts. Thus, individuals may associate distinct characteristics in acoustic signals of conspecifics with specific social contexts, and adjust their behaviour accordingly to prevent escalation of conflicts. Common ravens (Corvus corax) crowd-forage with individuals of different age classes, sex, and rank, assemble at feeding sites, and engage in agonistic interactions of varying intensity. Attacked individuals frequently utter defensive calls in order to appease the aggressor. Here, we investigated if acoustic properties of defensive calls change with varying levels of aggression, and if bystanders respond to these changes.

Results: Individuals were more likely to utter defensive calls when the attack involved contact aggression, and when the attacker was higher in rank than the victim. Defensive calls produced during intense conflicts were longer and uttered at higher rates, and showed higher fundamental frequency- and amplitude-related measures than calls uttered during low-intensity aggression, indicating arousal-based changes in defensive calls. Playback experiments showed that ravens were more likely to react in response to defensive calls with higher fundamental frequency by orientating towards the speakers as compared to original calls and calls manipulated in duration.

Conclusions: Arousal-based changes are encoded in acoustic parameters of defensive calls in attacked ravens, and bystanders in the audience pay attention to the degree of arousal in attacked conspecifics. Our findings imply that common ravens can regulate conflicts with conspecifics by means of vocalizations, and are able to gather social knowledge from conspecific calls.

RevDate: 2019-06-20
CmpDate: 2019-06-20

van Casteren A (2017)

Tool Use: Crows Craft the Right Tool for the Job.

Current biology : CB, 27(24):R1314-R1316.

New research into tool crafting in New Caledonian crows has uncovered factors that influence tool shape and the foraging advantages that these characteristics confer.

RevDate: 2018-12-02
CmpDate: 2018-04-20

Hill SD, Aryal A, Pawley MDM, et al (2018)

So much for the city: Urban-rural song variation in a widespread Asiatic songbird.

Integrative zoology, 13(2):194-205.

Song plays a fundamental role in intraspecific communication in songbirds. The temporal and structural components of songs can vary in different habitats. These include urban habitats where anthropogenic sounds and alteration of habitat structure can significantly affect songbird vocal behavior. Urban-rural variations in song complexity, song length and syllable rate are not fully understood. In this study, using the oriental magpie-robin (Copsychus saularis) as a model, we investigated urban-rural variation in song complexity, song length, syllable rate, syllable length and inter-syllable interval. Comparing urban and rural songs from 7 countries across its natural Asiatic range (Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand), we found no significant differences in oriental magpie-robin song complexity. However, we found significant differences in temporal song variables between urban and rural sites. Longer songs and inter-syllable intervals in addition to slower syllable rates within urban sites contributed the most to this variance. This indicates that the urban environment may have driven production of longer and slower songs to maximize efficient transmission of important song information in urban habitats.

RevDate: 2019-01-30
CmpDate: 2018-05-14

Ręk P, RD Magrath (2017)

Deceptive vocal duets and multimodal display in a songbird.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 284(1864):.

Many group-living animals cooperatively signal to defend resources, but what stops deceptive signalling to competitors about coalition strength? Cooperative-signalling species include mated pairs of birds that sing duets to defend their territory. Individuals of these species sometimes sing 'pseudo-duets' by mimicking their partner's contribution, but it is unknown if these songs are deceptive, or why duets are normally reliable. We studied pseudo-duets in Australian magpie-larks, Grallina cyanoleuca, and tested whether multimodal signalling constrains deception. Magpie-larks give antiphonal duets coordinated with a visual display, with each sex typically choosing a different song type within the duet. Individuals produced pseudo-duets almost exclusively during nesting when partners were apart, but the two song types were used in sequence rather than antiphonally. Strikingly, birds hid and gave no visual displays, implying deceptive suppression of information. Acoustic playbacks showed that pseudo-duets provoked the same response from residents as true duets, regardless of whether they were sequential or antiphonal, and stronger response than that to true duets consisting of a single song type. By contrast, experiments with robot models showed that songs accompanied by movements of two birds prompted stronger responses than songs accompanied by movements of one bird, irrespective of the number of song types or singers. We conclude that magpie-larks used deceptive pseudo-duets when partners were apart, and suppressed the visual display to maintain the subterfuge. We suggest that the visual component of many species' duets provides the most reliable information about the number of signallers and may have evolved to maintain honesty in duet communication.

RevDate: 2018-08-28
CmpDate: 2018-08-28

Gone JP (2017)

"It Felt Like Violence": Indigenous Knowledge Traditions and the Postcolonial Ethics of Academic Inquiry and Community Engagement.

American journal of community psychology, 60(3-4):353-360.

In a 2014 presentation at an academic conference featuring an American Indian community audience, I critically engaged the assumptions and commitments of Indigenous Research Methodologies. These methodologies have been described as approaches and procedures for conducting research that stem from long-subjugated Indigenous epistemologies (or "ways of knowing"). In my presentation, I described a Crow Indian religious tradition known as a skull medicine as an example of an indigenous way of knowing, referring to a historical photograph of a skull medicine bundle depicted on an accompanying slide. This occasioned consternation among many in attendance, some of whom later asserted that it was unethical for me to have presented this information because of Indigenous cultural proscriptions against publicizing sacred knowledge and photographing sacred objects. This ethical challenge depends on enduring religious sensibilities in Northern Plains Indian communities, as embedded within a postcolonial political critique concerning the accession of sacred objects by Euro-American collectors during the early 20th century. I complicate these ethical claims by considering competing goods that are valued by community psychologists, ultimately acknowledging that the associated ethical challenge resists resolution in terms that would be acceptable to diverse constituencies.

RevDate: 2019-12-10
CmpDate: 2018-07-05

Despinoy F, Zemiti N, Forestier G, et al (2018)

Evaluation of contactless human-machine interface for robotic surgical training.

International journal of computer assisted radiology and surgery, 13(1):13-24.

PURPOSE: Teleoperated robotic systems are nowadays routinely used for specific interventions. Benefits of robotic training courses have already been acknowledged by the community since manipulation of such systems requires dedicated training. However, robotic surgical simulators remain expensive and require a dedicated human-machine interface.

METHODS: We present a low-cost contactless optical sensor, the Leap Motion, as a novel control device to manipulate the RAVEN-II robot. We compare peg manipulations during a training task with a contact-based device, the electro-mechanical Sigma.7. We perform two complementary analyses to quantitatively assess the performance of each control method: a metric-based comparison and a novel unsupervised spatiotemporal trajectory clustering.

RESULTS: We show that contactless control does not offer as good manipulability as the contact-based. Where part of the metric-based evaluation presents the mechanical control better than the contactless one, the unsupervised spatiotemporal trajectory clustering from the surgical tool motions highlights specific signature inferred by the human-machine interfaces.

CONCLUSIONS: Even if the current implementation of contactless control does not overtake manipulation with high-standard mechanical interface, we demonstrate that using the optical sensor complete control of the surgical instruments is feasible. The proposed method allows fine tracking of the trainee's hands in order to execute dexterous laparoscopic training gestures. This work is promising for development of future human-machine interfaces dedicated to robotic surgical training systems.

RevDate: 2018-11-13
CmpDate: 2018-03-05

Marley SA, Erbe C, CPS Kent (2017)

Underwater recordings of the whistles of bottlenose dolphins in Fremantle Inner Harbour, Western Australia.

Scientific data, 4:170126.

Dolphins use frequency-modulated whistles for a variety of social functions. Whistles vary in their characteristics according to context, such as activity state, group size, group composition, geographic location, and ambient noise levels. Therefore, comparison of whistle characteristics can be used to address numerous research questions regarding dolphin populations and behaviour. However, logistical and economic constraints on dolphin research have resulted in data collection biases, inconsistent analytical approaches, and knowledge gaps. This Data Descriptor presents an acoustic dataset of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) whistles recorded in the Fremantle Inner Harbour, Western Australia. Data were collected using an autonomous recorder and analysed using a range of acoustic measurements. Acoustic data review identified 336 whistles, which were subsequently measured for six key characteristics using Raven Pro software. Of these, 164 'high-quality' whistles were manually measured to provide an additional five acoustic characteristics. Digital files of individual whistles and corresponding measurements make this dataset available to researchers to address future questions regarding variations within and between dolphin communities.

RevDate: 2018-12-02
CmpDate: 2018-02-14

O'Donnell LA, Axelson DA, Kowatch RA, et al (2017)

Enhancing quality of life among adolescents with bipolar disorder: A randomized trial of two psychosocial interventions.

Journal of affective disorders, 219:201-208.

BACKGROUND: Adolescents with bipolar disorder (BD) report lower quality of life (QoL) than adolescents with other psychiatric disorders. This study compared the efficacy of family-focused therapy for adolescents (FFT-A) plus pharmacotherapy to brief psychoeducation (enhanced care, or EC) plus pharmacotherapy on self-rated QoL in adolescents with BD over 2 years.

METHODS: Participants were 141 adolescents (mean age: 15.6±1.4yr) with BD I or II who had a mood episode in the previous 3 months. Adolescents and parents were randomly assigned to (1) FFT-A, given in 21 sessions in 9 months of psychoeducation, communication enhancement training, and problem-solving skills training, or (2) EC, given in 3 family psychoeducation sessions. Study psychiatrists provided patient participants with protocol-based pharmacotherapy for the duration of the study. QoL was assessed with The KINDLRQuestionnaire (Ravens-Sieberer and Bullinger, 1998) during active treatment (baseline to 9 months) and during a post-treatment follow-up (9-24 months).

RESULTS: The two treatment groups did not differ in overall QoL scores over 24 months. However, adolescents in FFT-A had greater improvements in quality of family relationships and physical well-being than participants in EC. For quality of friendships, the trajectory during active treatment favored EC, whereas the trajectory during post-treatment favored FFT-A.

LIMITATIONS: We were unable to standardize medication use or adherence over time. Quality of life was based on self-report rather than on observable functioning.

CONCLUSIONS: A short course of family psychoeducation and skills training may enhance relational functioning and health in adolescents with BD. The effects of different psychosocial interventions on peer relationships deserves further study.

RevDate: 2018-12-02
CmpDate: 2018-02-07

Luef EM, Ter Maat A, S Pika (2017)

Vocal similarity in long-distance and short-distance vocalizations in raven pairs (Corvus corax) in captivity.

Behavioural processes, 142:1-7.

Vocal interactions in many birds are characterized by imitation or the matching of vocalizations whereby one individual makes its vocalizations more similar to those of a conspecific. This behaviour is aided by vocal learning, which allows birds to change the vocalizations already in their repertoires, or to add new ones. The majority of studies on vocal similarity have been focussing on the songs of birds rather than their calls, with evidence for vocal similarity in calls being rather scarce. Here, we investigated whether ravens make their calls acoustically similar to one another by analysing the extent to which short- and long-distance calls of their vocal repertoires exhibited vocal similarity. Our results showed that long-distance calls, but not short-distance calls, are highly similar between pair partners. This effect may be explained by the different functions underlying short- and long-distance communication in ravens, with vocal similarity possibly being scaffolded by specific social matrices such as pair-bonds and/or strong social relationships.

RevDate: 2019-12-10
CmpDate: 2018-02-15

Neumann S, Salm S, Rietz C, et al (2017)

The German Focus on the Outcomes of Communication Under Six (FOCUS-G): Reliability and Validity of a Novel Assessment of Communicative Participation.

Journal of speech, language, and hearing research : JSLHR, 60(3):675-681.

Purpose: Our purpose was to explore the validity and reliability of the German Focus on the Outcomes of Communication Under Six (FOCUS-G; Thomas-Stonell, Oddson, Robertson, & Rosenbaum, 2010, 2012), which is an authorized adaptation of the Focus on the Outcomes of Communication Under Six (Thomas-Stonell et al., 2010) tool, which measures communicative participation in preschool children.

Method: Parents of typically developing children (TDC) and of children with speech impairment (CSI) completed the FOCUS-G and the Questionnaire for Measuring Health-Related Quality of Life in Children (KiddyKINDL; Ravens-Sieberer & Bullinger, 2000). To determine test-retest reliability, the FOCUS-G was readministered to a subsample of parents 1 week later.

Results: The FOCUS-G had high values for internal consistency (α = .959, Ω = .941), test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = .974), and split-half reliability (r = .832). Total scores on the FOCUS-G and KiddyKINDL demonstrated significant associations. FOCUS-G total scores and subdomain scores for both samples showed significant correlations, indicating good construct validity. The discriminatory ability of the FOCUS-G was indicated by significantly higher mean scores for TDC (M = 6.03, SD = 0.65) than CSI (M = 5.47, SD = 1.02).

Conclusion: The overall good psychometric properties of this novel assessment of communicative participation support its use by speech-language pathologists for clinical and research purposes with German-speaking children.

RevDate: 2018-11-13
CmpDate: 2018-08-14

Hirano Y, Nakagawa M, Suyama T, et al (2017)

Structure of the SHR-SCR heterodimer bound to the BIRD/IDD transcriptional factor JKD.

Nature plants, 3:17010.

The plant-specific GAI, RGA and SCR (GRAS) family proteins play critical roles in plant development and signalling. Two GRAS proteins, SHORT-ROOT (SHR) and SCARECROW (SCR), cooperatively direct asymmetric cell division and the patterning of root cell types by transcriptional control in conjunction with BIRD/INDETERMINATE DOMAIN (IDD) transcription factors, although precise details of these specific interactions and actions remain unknown. Here, we present the crystal structures of the SHR-SCR binary and JACKDAW (JKD)/IDD10-SHR-SCR ternary complexes. Each GRAS domain comprises one α/β core subdomain with an α-helical cap that mediates heterodimerization by forming an intermolecular helix bundle. The α/β core subdomain of SHR forms the BIRD binding groove, which specifically recognizes the zinc fingers of JKD. We identified a conserved SHR-binding motif in 13 BIRD/IDD transcription factors. Our results establish a structural basis for GRAS-GRAS and GRAS-BIRD interactions and provide valuable clues towards our understanding of these regulators, which are involved in plant-specific signalling networks.

RevDate: 2017-11-30
CmpDate: 2017-09-28

Laiolo P (2017)

Phenotypic similarity in sympatric crow species: Evidence of social convergence?.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 71(4):1051-1060.

Crows, rooks, and ravens (Corvus spp.) display marked morphological and voice similarities that have been hypothesized to stem from competitive interactions, as a case of nonaposematic mimicry. Here, I test predictions of the mimicry hypothesis at the macrovolutionary scale, examining whether species morphological and acoustic traits covary with those of coexisting congeners, and whether phenotypic similarity has facilitated the coexistence of related species after secondary contact. Body size and the temporal patterns of the commonest call display high levels of similarity among sympatric species, even after controlling for the effect of shared climate and habitat, and phylogenetic constraints in the production of variation. When sister species differed in these acoustic and morphological traits, their transition to secondary sympatry was delayed relative to those with more similar traits. No similarity was found in the sexual call of crows, suggesting that convergence occurs only when function does not favour maintenance of species-specific traits. Crow similarities in morphological and acoustic features may therefore be associated with coevolving interactions with congeners, in line with a broad array of studies documenting convergence among species that interact aggressively or forage communally.

RevDate: 2018-12-02
CmpDate: 2017-12-08

Bílá K, Beránková J, Veselý P, et al (2017)

Responses of urban crows to con- and hetero-specific alarm calls in predator and non-predator zoo enclosures.

Animal cognition, 20(1):43-51.

Urban animals and birds in particular are able to cope with diverse novel threats in a city environment such as avoiding novel, unfamiliar predators. Predator avoidance often includes alarm signals that can be used also by hetero-specifics, which is mainly the case in mixed-species flocks. It can also occur when species do not form flocks but co-occur together. In this study we tested whether urban crows use alarm calls of conspecifics and hetero-specifics (jackdaws, Corvus monedula) differently in a predator and a non-predator context with partly novel and unfamiliar zoo animal species. Birds were tested at the Tiergarten Schönbrunn in the city of Vienna by playing back con- and hetero-specific alarm calls and control stimuli (great tit song and no stimuli) at predator (wolf, polar bear) and non-predator (eland antelope and cranes, peccaries) enclosures. We recorded responses of crows as the percentage of birds flying away after hearing the playback (out of those present before the playback) and as the number of vocalizations given by the present birds. A significantly higher percentage of crows flew away after hearing either con- or hetero-specific alarm calls, but it did not significantly differ between the predator and the non-predator context. Crows treated jackdaw calls just as crow calls, indicating that they make proper use of hetero-specific alarm calls. Responding similarly in both contexts may suggest that the crows were uncertain about the threat a particular zoo animal represents and were generally cautious. In the predator context, however, a high percentage of crows also flew away upon hearing the great tit control song which suggests that they may still evaluate those species which occasionally killed crows as more dangerous and respond to any conspicuous sound.

RevDate: 2018-11-13
CmpDate: 2017-05-23

Dove WF (2016)

Weaving a Tapestry from Threads Spun by Geneticists: The Series Perspectives on Genetics, 1987-2008.

Genetics, 203(3):1011-1022.

The Perspectives column was initiated in 1987 when Jan Drake, Editor-in-Chief of GENETICS, invited Jim Crow and William Dove to serve as coeditors of "Anecdotal, Historical, and Critical Commentaries." As the series evolved over 21 years, under the guidance of Crow and Dove, the input of stories told by geneticists from many countries created a panorama of 20th-century genetics. Three recurrent themes are visible: how geneticists have created the science (as solitary investigators, in pairs, or in cooperative groups); how geneticists work hard, but find ways to have fun; and how public and private institutions have sustained the science of genetics, particularly in the United States. This article ends by considering how the Perspectives series and other communication formats can carry forward the core science of genetics from the 20th into the 21st century.

RevDate: 2020-10-01
CmpDate: 2016-04-30

van Vuuren K, O'Keeffe S, DN Jones (2016)

"Vicious, Aggressive Bird Stalks Cyclist": The Australian Magpie (Cracticus tibicen) in the News.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 6(5):.

The Australian Magpie (Cracticus tibicen) is a common bird found in urban Australian environments where its nest defense behavior during spring brings it into conflict with humans. This article explores the role of print media in covering this conflict. Leximancer software was used to analyze newspaper reports about the Australian Magpie from a sample of 634 news stories, letters-to-the editor and opinion pieces, published in newspapers from around Australia between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2014. The results confirm that stories about these birds are primarily published in the daily regional and weekly suburban press, and that the dominant story frame concerns the risk of "swooping" behavior to cyclists and pedestrians from birds protecting their nests during the spring breeding season. The most prominent sources used by journalists are local and state government representatives, as well as members of the public. The results show that the "swooping season" has become a normal part of the annual news cycle for these publications, with the implication that discourse surrounding the Australian Magpie predominantly concerns the risk these birds pose to humans, and ignores their decline in non-urban environments.

RevDate: 2019-01-09
CmpDate: 2016-10-26

Droege G, T Töpfer (2016)

The Corvids Literature Database--500 years of ornithological research from a crow's perspective.

Database : the journal of biological databases and curation, 2016:.

Corvids (Corvidae) play a major role in ornithological research. Because of their worldwide distribution, diversity and adaptiveness, they have been studied extensively. The aim of the Corvids Literature Database (CLD, http://www.corvids.de/cld) is to record all publications (citation format) on all extant and extinct Crows, Ravens, Jays and Magpies worldwide and tag them with specific keywords making them available for researchers worldwide. The self-maintained project started in 2006 and today comprises 8000 articles, spanning almost 500 years. The CLD covers publications from 164 countries, written in 36 languages and published by 8026 authors in 1503 journals (plus books, theses and other publications). Forty-nine percent of all records are available online as full-text documents or deposited in the physical CLD archive. The CLD contains 442 original corvid descriptions. Here, we present a metadata assessment of articles recorded in the CLD including a gap analysis and prospects for future research. Database URL: http://www.corvids.de/cld.

RevDate: 2017-01-17
CmpDate: 2017-01-17

Weizmann F (2016)

Robert W. Rieber (1932-2015).

The American psychologist, 71(2):149.

Presents the obituary of Robert W. Rieber (1932-2015). Robert W. Rieber, the son of immigrants from the former Austro- Hungarian Empire was born March 24, 1932. He earned a bachelor's degree at Pennsylvania State University and a master's degree in speech pathology at Temple University. He moved to New York City, New York, in 1957, working as a speech pathologist at New York University. In 1960, he accepted an academic position at Pace University, subsequently moving to the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at City University of New York. He held appointments at Columbia University and, following his retirement from John Jay, at Fordham University. Bob founded and edited several journals, including The Journal of Communication Disorders, The Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless, and The Journal of Psycholinguistics Research. While on leave from Pace, he completed his doctorate at the University of London with a dissertation on the relationship between language and psychopathology. Rieber died at his summer home in Maine on April 9, 2015. He was 83.

RevDate: 2019-12-10
CmpDate: 2017-01-20

Mankin JL, Thompson C, Branigan HP, et al (2016)

Processing compound words: Evidence from synaesthesia.

Cognition, 150:1-9.

This study used grapheme-colour synaesthesia, a neurological condition where letters evoke a strong and consistent impression of colour, as a tool to investigate normal language processing. For two sets of compound words varying by lexical frequency (e.g., football vs lifevest) or semantic transparency (e.g., flagpole vs magpie), we asked 19 grapheme-colour synaesthetes to choose their dominant synaesthetic colour using an online colour palette. Synaesthetes could then select a second synaesthetic colour for each word if they experienced one. For each word, we measured the number of elicited synaesthetic colours (zero, one, or two) and the nature of those colours (in terms of their saturation and luminance values). In the first analysis, we found that the number of colours was significantly influenced by compound frequency, such that the probability of a one-colour response increased with frequency. However, semantic transparency did not influence the number of synaesthetic colours. In the second analysis, we found that the luminance of the dominant colour was predicted by the frequency of the first constituent (e.g. rain in rainbow). We also found that the dominant colour was significantly more luminant than the secondary colour. Our results show the influence of implicit linguistic measures on synaesthetic colours, and support multiple/dual-route models of compound processing.

RevDate: 2017-04-17
CmpDate: 2017-04-17

Beatty J (2016)

What are narratives good for?.

Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences, 58:33-40.

Narratives may be easy to come by, but not everything is worth narrating. What merits a narrative? Here, I follow the lead of narratologists and literary theorists, and focus on one particular proposal concerning the elements of a story that make it narrative-worthy. These elements correspond to features of the natural world addressed by the historical sciences, where narratives figure so prominently. What matters is contingency. Narratives are especially good for representing contingency and accounting for contingent outcomes. This will be squared with a common view that narratives leave no room for chance. On the contrary, I will argue, tracing one path through a maze of alternative possibilities, and alluding to those possibilities along the way, is what a narrative does particularly well.

RevDate: 2021-04-02
CmpDate: 2016-05-10

St Clair JJH, Burns ZT, Bettaney EM, et al (2015)

Experimental resource pulses influence social-network dynamics and the potential for information flow in tool-using crows.

Nature communications, 6:7197.

Social-network dynamics have profound consequences for biological processes such as information flow, but are notoriously difficult to measure in the wild. We used novel transceiver technology to chart association patterns across 19 days in a wild population of the New Caledonian crow--a tool-using species that may socially learn, and culturally accumulate, tool-related information. To examine the causes and consequences of changing network topology, we manipulated the environmental availability of the crows' preferred tool-extracted prey, and simulated, in silico, the diffusion of information across field-recorded time-ordered networks. Here we show that network structure responds quickly to environmental change and that novel information can potentially spread rapidly within multi-family communities, especially when tool-use opportunities are plentiful. At the same time, we report surprisingly limited social contact between neighbouring crow communities. Such scale dependence in information-flow dynamics is likely to influence the evolution and maintenance of material cultures.

RevDate: 2016-11-26
CmpDate: 2015-12-14

Kline W (2015)

Communicating a New Consciousness: Countercultural Print and the Home Birth Movement in the 1970s.

Bulletin of the history of medicine, 89(3):527-556.

This essay analyzes the production of three influential home birth texts of the 1970s written by self-proclaimed lay midwives that helped to fuel and sustain a movement in alternative birth practices. As part of a countercultural lifestyle print culture, early "how-to" books (Raven Lang's The Birth Book, Ina May Gaskin's Spiritual Midwifery) provided readers with vivid images and accounts in stark contrast to those of the sterile hospital delivery room. By the end of the decade, Rahima Baldwin's more mainstream guidebook, Special Delivery, indicated an interest in translating home birth to a wider audience who did not necessarily identify as "countercultural." Lay midwives who were authors of radical print texts in the 1970s played an important role in reshaping expectations about the birth experience, suggesting a need to rethink how we define the counterculture and its legacies.

RevDate: 2017-01-17
CmpDate: 2017-01-17

Haley J (2015)

Discussions on Hypnosis and Schizophrenia.

The International journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis, 63(4):403-421.

A classic paper in intellect and argument, this article contains a transcript of a conversation between Jay Haley, John Weakland, and Milton Erickson as they discuss the role of communication in hypnosis and schizophrenia. In 1955, schizophrenia was considered primarily a psychological disorder. Whereas today schizophrenia is mostly considered a biological disorder, this very early, unpublished paper still gives much food for thought and a further glimpse into Haley and Erickson's thinking and intellect at a fervent time in schizophrenia research.

RevDate: 2017-01-17
CmpDate: 2017-01-17

Haley J (2015)

Explorer in Hypnosis.

The International journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis, 63(4):380-402.

Written in 1957, this paper was Jay Haley's first attempt to organize his impressions of Milton Erickson. The article captures the essence of Erickson: the man, his early concepts of the trance state, his flexibility in trance induction, and his delight in working with those considered "resistant subjects." In this early paper, Jay Haley clearly recognizes Erickson's potential impact on therapy and clinicians around the world. This paper reminds readers of the importance of therapeutic relationship and the power of effective communication.

RevDate: 2018-11-13
CmpDate: 2016-05-17

Dorazio RM, Connor EF, RA Askins (2015)

Estimating the Effects of Habitat and Biological Interactions in an Avian Community.

PloS one, 10(8):e0135987.

We used repeated sightings of individual birds encountered in community-level surveys to investigate the relative roles of habitat and biological interactions in determining the distribution and abundance of each species. To analyze these data, we developed a multispecies N-mixture model that allowed estimation of both positive and negative correlations between abundances of different species while also estimating the effects of habitat and the effects of errors in detection of each species. Using a combination of single- and multispecies N-mixture modeling, we examined for each species whether our measures of habitat were sufficient to account for the variation in encounter histories of individual birds or whether other habitat variables or interactions with other species needed to be considered. In the community that we studied, habitat appeared to be more influential than biological interactions in determining the distribution and abundance of most avian species. Our results lend support to the hypothesis that abundances of forest specialists are negatively affected by forest fragmentation. Our results also suggest that many species were associated with particular types of vegetation as measured by structural attributes of the forests. The abundances of 6 of the 73 species observed in our study were strongly correlated. These species included large birds (American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) and Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)) that forage on the ground in open habitats and small birds (Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus), House Wren (Troglodytes aedon), Hooded Warbler (Setophaga citrina), and Prairie Warbler (Setophaga discolor)) that are associated with dense shrub cover. Species abundances were positively correlated within each size group and negatively correlated between groups. Except for the American Crow, which preys on eggs and nestlings of small song birds, none of the other 5 species is known to display direct interactions, so we suspect that the correlations may have been associated with species-specific responses to habitat components not adequately measured by our covariates.

RevDate: 2018-11-13
CmpDate: 2017-01-16

Logan CJ, Breen AJ, Taylor AH, et al (2016)

How New Caledonian crows solve novel foraging problems and what it means for cumulative culture.

Learning & behavior, 44(1):18-28.

New Caledonian crows make and use tools, and tool types vary over geographic landscapes. Social learning may explain the variation in tool design, but it is unknown to what degree social learning accounts for the maintenance of these designs. Indeed, little is known about the mechanisms these crows use to obtain information from others, despite the question's importance in understanding whether tool behavior is transmitted via social, genetic, or environmental means. For social transmission to account for tool-type variation, copying must utilize a mechanism that is action specific (e.g., pushing left vs. right) as well as context specific (e.g., pushing a particular object vs. any object). To determine whether crows can copy a demonstrator's actions as well as the contexts in which they occur, we conducted a diffusion experiment using a novel foraging task. We used a nontool task to eliminate any confounds introduced by individual differences in their prior tool experience. Two groups had demonstrators (trained in isolation on different options of a four-option task, including a two-action option) and one group did not. We found that crows socially learn about context: After observers see a demonstrator interact with the task, they are more likely to interact with the same parts of the task. In contrast, observers did not copy the demonstrator's specific actions. Our results suggest it is unlikely that observing tool-making behavior transmits tool types. We suggest it is possible that tool types are transmitted when crows copy the physical form of the tools they encounter.

RevDate: 2018-11-13
CmpDate: 2016-08-02

Shimmura T, Ohashi S, T Yoshimura (2015)

The highest-ranking rooster has priority to announce the break of dawn.

Scientific reports, 5:11683.

The "cock-a-doodle-doo" crowing of roosters, which symbolizes the break of dawn in many cultures, is controlled by the circadian clock. When one rooster announces the break of dawn, others in the vicinity immediately follow. Chickens are highly social animals, and they develop a linear and fixed hierarchy in small groups. We found that when chickens were housed in small groups, the top-ranking rooster determined the timing of predawn crowing. Specifically, the top-ranking rooster always started to crow first, followed by its subordinates, in descending order of social rank. When the top-ranking rooster was physically removed from a group, the second-ranking rooster initiated crowing. The presence of a dominant rooster significantly reduced the number of predawn crows in subordinates. However, the number of crows induced by external stimuli was independent of social rank, confirming that subordinates have the ability to crow. Although the timing of subordinates' predawn crowing was strongly dependent on that of the top-ranking rooster, free-running periods of body temperature rhythms differed among individuals, and crowing rhythm did not entrain to a crowing sound stimulus. These results indicate that in a group situation, the top-ranking rooster has priority to announce the break of dawn, and that subordinate roosters are patient enough to wait for the top-ranking rooster's first crow every morning and thus compromise their circadian clock for social reasons.

RevDate: 2019-12-10
CmpDate: 2017-02-21

Wascher CA, Hillemann F, Canestrari D, et al (2015)

Carrion crows learn to discriminate between calls of reliable and unreliable conspecifics.

Animal cognition, 18(5):1181-1185.

Partner choice on the basis of an individual's reliability is expected to stabilize social interactions. In this experiment, we tested whether carrion crows (Corvus corone corone) learn to differentiate between calls of reliable or unreliable individuals. Crows were kept in an aviary that comprised four visually but not acoustically isolated compartments, separated by a central room. In an association phase, a dead crow placed in the central compartment was visible only to one of the four crow groups, whilst alert calls of a conspecific were played back. Therefore, these calls were reliable for that group, but unreliable for the three other groups. The procedure was repeated, using a different reliable caller for each group. In two test sessions, 1 month apart, reliable and unreliable model individuals were played back, but no dead crow was presented. We quantified birds' attention behaviour and the number of vocalisations emitted. In the association phase, crows were more attentive towards the reliable compared with the unreliable stimuli and called more in response to reliable compared to unreliable individuals. In the test and repeat phase, attention behaviour did not differ between reliability conditions, but the pattern of vocal behaviour reversed, with crows calling less frequent when listening to reliable compared with unreliable calls. Vocal responses of crows suggest that they can discriminate between reliable and unreliable callers.

RevDate: 2021-04-02

Rutz C, Morrissey MB, Burns ZT, et al (2015)

Calibrating animal-borne proximity loggers.

Methods in ecology and evolution, 6(6):656-667.

Growing interest in the structure and dynamics of animal social networks has stimulated efforts to develop automated tracking technologies that can reliably record encounters in free-ranging subjects. A particularly promising approach is the use of animal-attached 'proximity loggers', which collect data on the incidence, duration and proximity of spatial associations through inter-logger radio communication. While proximity logging is based on a straightforward physical principle - the attenuation of propagating radio waves with distance - calibrating systems for field deployment is challenging, since most study species roam across complex, heterogeneous environments.In this study, we calibrated a recently developed digital proximity-logging system ('Encounternet') for deployment on a wild population of New Caledonian crows Corvus moneduloides. Our principal objective was to establish a quantitative model that enables robust post hoc estimation of logger-to-logger (and, hence, crow-to-crow) distances from logger-recorded signal-strength values. To achieve an accurate description of the radio communication between crow-borne loggers, we conducted a calibration exercise that combines theoretical analyses, field experiments, statistical modelling, behavioural observations, and computer simulations.We show that, using signal-strength information only, it is possible to assign crow encounters reliably to predefined distance classes, enabling powerful analyses of social dynamics. For example, raw data sets from field-deployed loggers can be filtered at the analysis stage to include predominantly encounters where crows would have come to within a few metres of each other, and could therefore have socially learned new behaviours through direct observation. One of the main challenges for improving data classification further is the fact that crows - like most other study species - associate across a wide variety of habitats and behavioural contexts, with different signal-attenuation properties.Our study demonstrates that well-calibrated proximity-logging systems can be used to chart social associations of free-ranging animals over a range of biologically meaningful distances. At the same time, however, it highlights that considerable efforts are required to conduct study-specific system calibrations that adequately account for the biological and technological complexities of field deployments. Although we report results from a particular case study, the basic rationale of our multi-step calibration exercise applies to many other tracking systems and study species.

RevDate: 2019-04-23
CmpDate: 2016-03-24

Suzuki TN (2015)

Assessment of predation risk through referential communication in incubating birds.

Scientific reports, 5:10239.

Parents of many bird species produce alarm calls when they approach and deter a nest predator in order to defend their offspring. Alarm calls have been shown to warn nestlings about predatory threats, but parents also face a similar risk of predation when incubating eggs in their nests. Here, I show that incubating female Japanese great tits, Parus minor, assess predation risk by conspecific alarm calls given outside the nest cavity. Tits produce acoustically discrete alarm calls for different nest predators: "jar" calls for snakes and "chicka" calls for other predators such as crows and martens. Playback experiments revealed that incubating females responded to "jar" calls by leaving their nest, whereas they responded to "chicka" calls by looking out of the nest entrance. Since snakes invade the nest cavity, escaping from the nest helps females avoid snake predation. In contrast, "chicka" calls are used for a variety of predator types, and therefore, looking out of the nest entrance helps females gather information about the type and location of approaching predators. These results show that incubating females derive information about predator type from different types of alarm calls, providing a novel example of functionally referential communication.

RevDate: 2020-09-30

Szipl G, T Bugnyar (2014)

Craving Ravens: Individual 'haa' Call Rates at Feeding Sites as Cues to Personality and Levels of Fission-Fusion Dynamics?.

Animal behavior and cognition, 1(3):265-280.

Common ravens aggregate in large non-breeder flocks for roosting and foraging until they achieve the status of territorial breeders. When discovering food, they produce far-reaching yells or 'haa' calls, which attract conspecifics. Due to the high levels of fission-fusion dynamics in non-breeders' flocks, assemblies of feeding ravens were long thought to represent anonymous aggregations. Yet, non-breeders vary in their degree of vagrancy, and 'haa' calls convey individually distinct acoustic features, which are perceived by conspecifics. These findings give rise to the assumption that raven societies are based on differential social relationships on an individual level. We investigated the occurrence of 'haa' calling and individual call rates in a group of individually marked free-ranging ravens. Calling mainly occurred in subadult and adult females, which showed low levels of vagrancy. Call rates differed significantly between individuals and with residency status, and were correlated with calling frequency and landing frequency. Local ravens called more often and at higher rates, and were less likely to land at the feeding site than vagrant birds. The results are discussed with respect to individual degrees of vagrancy, which may have an impact on social knowledge and communication in this species.

RevDate: 2015-06-06
CmpDate: 2016-03-03

Jayne K, Lea SE, LA Leaver (2015)

Behavioural responses of Eastern grey squirrels, Sciurus carolinensis, to cues of risk while foraging.

Behavioural processes, 116:53-61.

Previous studies have shown that Eastern grey squirrels modify their behaviour while foraging to offset risks of social and predatory costs, but none have simultaneously compared whether such modifications are performed at a cost to foraging. The present study directly compares how grey squirrels respond to cues of these risks while foraging. We simulated social risk and predatory risk using acoustic playbacks of stimuli that grey squirrels might be exposed to at a foraging patch: calls of conspecifics, heterospecifics (competitor and non-competitor) and predators. We found that grey squirrels responded to predator, heterospecific competitor and conspecific playbacks by altering their foraging and vigilance behaviours. Foraging was most disrupted by increased vigilance when we played calls of predators. Squirrels' response to calls of heterospecific competitors did not differ from their response to conspecific calls, and they resumed foraging more quickly after both compared to predator calls: whereas they showed little response to calls of non-competitor heterospecifics and a white noise control. We conclude that squirrels respond differentially to calls made by conspecifics, heterospecific competitors and predators, with the most pronounced response being to calls of predators. We suggest that squirrels may view conspecific and corvid vocalisations as cues of potential conflict while foraging, necessitating increased vigilance.

RevDate: 2019-12-10
CmpDate: 2015-11-02

Wascher CA, Heiss RS, Baglione V, et al (2015)

Behavioural responses to olfactory cues in carrion crows.

Behavioural processes, 111:1-5.

Until recently, the use of olfactory signals in birds has been largely ignored, despite the fact that birds do possess a fully functioning olfactory system and have been shown to use odours in social and foraging tasks, predator detection and orientation. The present study investigates whether carrion crows (Corvus corone corone), a bird species living in complex social societies, respond behaviourally to olfactory cues of conspecifics. During our experiment, carrion crows were observed less often close to the conspecific scent compared to a control side. Because conspecific scent was extracted during handling, a stressful procedure for birds, we interpreted the general avoidance of the 'scent' side as disfavour against a stressed conspecific. However, males, unlike females, showed less avoidance towards the scent of a familiar individual compared to an unfamiliar one, which might reflect a stronger interest in the information conveyed and/or willingness to provide social support.

RevDate: 2018-11-13
CmpDate: 2014-12-31

Röder G, Canestrari D, Bolopo D, et al (2014)

Chicks of the great spotted cuckoo may turn brood parasitism into mutualism by producing a foul-smelling secretion that repels predators.

Journal of chemical ecology, 40(4):320-324.

The great spotted cuckoo (Clamator glandarius) is an important brood parasite of carrion crows (Corvus corone corone) in northern Spain. We recently found that, unlike what is commonly known for cuckoo-host interactions, the great spotted cuckoo has no negative impact on average crow fitness in this region. The explanation for this surprising effect is a repulsive secretion that the cuckoo chicks produce when they are harassed and that may protect the brood against predation. Here, we provide details on the chemical composition of the cuckoo secretion, as well as conclusive evidence that the dominating volatile chemicals in the secretion are highly repellent to model species representative of common predators of the crows. These results support the notion that, in this particular system, the production of a repulsive secretion by the cuckoo chicks has turned a normally parasitic interaction into a mutualistic one.

RevDate: 2020-09-29
CmpDate: 2014-04-01

Plotnik JM, FB de Waal (2014)

Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) reassure others in distress.

PeerJ, 2:e278.

Contact directed by uninvolved bystanders toward others in distress, often termed consolation, is uncommon in the animal kingdom, thus far only demonstrated in the great apes, canines, and corvids. Whereas the typical agonistic context of such contact is relatively rare within natural elephant families, other causes of distress may trigger similar, other-regarding responses. In a study carried out at an elephant camp in Thailand, we found that elephants affiliated significantly more with other individuals through directed, physical contact and vocal communication following a distress event than in control periods. In addition, bystanders affiliated with each other, and matched the behavior and emotional state of the first distressed individual, suggesting emotional contagion. The initial distress responses were overwhelmingly directed toward ambiguous stimuli, thus making it difficult to determine if bystanders reacted to the distressed individual or showed a delayed response to the same stimulus. Nonetheless, the directionality of the contacts and their nature strongly suggest attention toward the emotional states of conspecifics. The elephants' behavior is therefore best classified with similar consolation responses by apes, possibly based on convergent evolution of empathic capacities.

RevDate: 2015-03-26
CmpDate: 2016-02-17

Rindermann H, Stiegmaier EM, G Meisenberg (2015)

Cognitive ability of preschool, primary and secondary school children in Costa Rica.

Journal of biosocial science, 47(3):281-310.

Cognitive abilities of children in Costa Rica and Austria were compared using three age groups (N = 385/366). Cognitive ability tests (mental speed, culture reduced/fluid intelligence, literacy/crystallized intelligence) were applied that differed in the extent to which they refer to school-related knowledge. Preschool children (kindergarten, 5-6 years old, N(CR) = 80, N(Au) = 51) were assessed with the Coloured Progressive Matrices (CPM), primary school children (4th grade, 9-11 years old, N(CR) = 71, N(Au) = 71) with ZVT (a trail-making test), Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM) and items from PIRLS-Reading and TIMSS-Mathematics, and secondary school students (15-16 years old, N(CR) = 48, N(Au) = 48) with ZVT, Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM) and items from PISA-Reading and PISA-Mathematics. Additionally, parents and pupils were given questionnaires covering family characteristics and instruction. Average cognitive abilities were higher in Austria (Greenwich-IQ M(CR) = 87 and M(Au) = 99, d(IQ) = 12 points) and differences were smaller in preschool than in secondary school (d(IQ) = 7 vs 20 points). Differences in crystallized intelligence were larger than in fluid intelligence (mental speed: d(IQ) = 12, Raven: d(IQ) = 10, student achievement tests: d(IQ) = 17 IQ points). Differences were larger in comparisons at the level of g-factors. Austrian children were also taller (6.80 cm, d = 1.07 SD), but had lower body mass index (BMI(CR) = 19.35 vs BMI(Au) = 17.59, d = -0.89 SD). Different causal hypotheses explaining these differences are compared.

RevDate: 2018-12-03
CmpDate: 2014-10-02

Kandel JJ (2014)

Serendipity: translational research, high quality care, and the children's hospital. Jay and Margie Grosfeld Lecture.

Journal of pediatric surgery, 49(1):19-24.

The word "serendipity" was coined by Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford, in a letter he wrote in January 1754. He defined serendipity as the making of "….discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which [you] were not in quest of….you must observe that no discovery of a thing you are looking for comes under this description." I would like to make the case that a children's hospital can be a superb setting in which to attempt this feat-to generate Serendipity. I would also like to convince you that this attribute is absolutely essential to providing the very best care for children.

RevDate: 2014-02-07
CmpDate: 2014-10-15

Stolk A, Noordzij ML, Volman I, et al (2014)

Understanding communicative actions: a repetitive TMS study.

Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior, 51:25-34.

Despite the ambiguity inherent in human communication, people are remarkably efficient in establishing mutual understanding. Studying how people communicate in novel settings provides a window into the mechanisms supporting the human competence to rapidly generate and understand novel shared symbols, a fundamental property of human communication. Previous work indicates that the right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) is involved when people understand the intended meaning of novel communicative actions. Here, we set out to test whether normal functioning of this cerebral structure is required for understanding novel communicative actions using inhibitory low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). A factorial experimental design contrasted two tightly matched stimulation sites (right pSTS vs left MT+, i.e., a contiguous homotopic task-relevant region) and tasks (a communicative task vs a visual tracking task that used the same sequences of stimuli). Overall task performance was not affected by rTMS, whereas changes in task performance over time were disrupted according to TMS site and task combinations. Namely, rTMS over pSTS led to a diminished ability to improve action understanding on the basis of recent communicative history, while rTMS over MT+ perturbed improvement in visual tracking over trials. These findings qualify the contributions of the right pSTS to human communicative abilities, showing that this region might be necessary for incorporating previous knowledge, accumulated during interactions with a communicative partner, to constrain the inferential process that leads to action understanding.

RevDate: 2014-01-31
CmpDate: 2014-09-29

López-Meraz ML, Medel-Matus JS, Morgado-Valle C, et al (2014)

Effect of lithium-pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus on ultrasonic vocalizations in the infant rat pup.

Epilepsy & behavior : E&B, 31:263-266.

Evidence shows that febrile convulsions induced in rat pups increase ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs); however, the effect of status epilepticus (SE) induced in developing rats on USVs has not been fully investigated. The goal of this study was to analyze USVs following lithium-pilocarpine-induced SE in fourteen-day-old (P14) rat pups. The rat pups were given 3-mEq/kg lithium chloride i.p. on the day before the induction of SE, which was carried out at P14 by subcutaneous injection of 100-mg/kg pilocarpine hydrochloride; control animals were given an equal volume of lithium chloride and saline on P13 and P14, respectively. Ultrasonic vocalizations were monitored at P15, P16, and P21 with a Mini 3 Bat Detector Ultra Sound Advice (15kHz-160kHz) set at 40±4kHz and digitally recorded in WAV format using the Audacity 1.3 beta software. A clear box (60×40×30cm) split down the middle with a holed wall was used; each pup was placed alone in one compartment, whereas its dam was placed on the other cage side at room temperature. Vocalizations were recorded over a 5-minute period, converted to sonograms and spectrograms, and analyzed using the Raven software. Parameters evaluated were as follows: USV frequency, latency to the first USV, and mean USV duration. There was a significant decrease in the latency (35.5±6.9s) and duration (50.8±8.6s) of USVs after SE compared with the control group (81.9±10.8s and 78.1±9.9s, respectively). Status epilepticus affected male and female rats differentially.

RevDate: 2019-01-08
CmpDate: 2014-08-21

Polnaszek TJ, DW Stephens (2014)

Why not lie? Costs enforce honesty in an experimental signalling game.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 281(1774):20132457.

Communication depends on reliability. Yet, the existence of stable honest signalling presents an evolutionary puzzle. Why should animals signal honestly in the face of a conflict of interest? While students of animal signalling have offered several theoretical answers to this puzzle, the most widely studied model, commonly called the 'handicap principle', postulates that the costs of signals stabilize honesty. This model is the motivating force behind an enormous research enterprise that explores signal costs--whether they are physiological, immunological, neural, developmental or caloric. While there can be no question that many signals are costly, we lack definitive experimental evidence demonstrating that costs stabilize honesty. This study presents a laboratory signalling game using blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) that provides, to our knowledge, the first experimental evidence showing honesty persists when costs are high and disappears when costs are low.

RevDate: 2013-09-09
CmpDate: 2013-10-24

Fantus RJ (2013)

NTDB data points: As the crow flies.

Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons, 98(7):65-66.

RevDate: 2019-12-10
CmpDate: 2013-10-25

Halász J, Áspán N, Bozsik C, et al (2013)

The relationship between conduct symptoms and the recognition of emotions in non-clinical adolescents.

Psychiatria Hungarica : A Magyar Pszichiatriai Tarsasag tudomanyos folyoirata, 28(2):104-110.

BACKGROUND: In adult individuals with antisocial personality disorder, impairment in the recognition of fear seems established. In adolescents with conduct disorder (antecedent of antisocial personality disorder), only sporadic data were assessed, but literature data indicate alterations in the recognition of emotions. The aim of the present study was to assess the relationship between emotion recognition and conduct symptoms in non-clinical adolescents.

METHODS: 53 adolescents participated in the study (13-16 years, boys, n=29, age 14.7±0.2 years; girls, n=24, age=14.7±0.2 years) after informed consent. The parent version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire was used to assess behavioral problems. The recognition of six basic emotions was established by the "Facial expressions of emotion-stimuli and tests", while Raven IQ measures were also performed.

RESULTS: Compared to boys, girls showed significantly better performance in the recognition of disgust (p<0.035), while no significant difference occurred in the recognition of other emotions. In boys, Conduct Problems score was inversely correlated with the recognition of fear (Spearman R=-0.40, p<0.031) and overall emotion recognition (Spearman R=-0.44, p<0.015), while similar correlation was not present in girls.

CONCLUSIONS: The relationship between the recognition of emotions and conduct problems might indicate an important mechanism in the development of antisocial behavior.

RevDate: 2019-12-10
CmpDate: 2014-02-07

Seiler M, Schwitzer C, Gamba M, et al (2013)

Interspecific semantic alarm call recognition in the solitary Sahamalaza sportive lemur, Lepilemur sahamalazensis.

PloS one, 8(6):e67397.

As alarm calls indicate the presence of predators, the correct interpretation of alarm calls, including those of other species, is essential for predator avoidance. Conversely, communication calls of other species might indicate the perceived absence of a predator and hence allow a reduction in vigilance. This "eavesdropping" was demonstrated in birds and mammals, including lemur species. Interspecific communication between taxonomic groups has so far been reported in some reptiles and mammals, including three primate species. So far, neither semantic nor interspecific communication has been tested in a solitary and nocturnal lemur species. The aim of this study was to investigate if the nocturnal and solitary Sahamalaza sportive lemur, Lepilemur sahamalazensis, is able to access semantic information of sympatric species. During the day, this species faces the risk of falling prey to aerial and terrestrial predators and therefore shows high levels of vigilance. We presented alarm calls of the crested coua, the Madagascar magpie-robin and aerial, terrestrial and agitation alarm calls of the blue-eyed black lemur to 19 individual Sahamalaza sportive lemurs resting in tree holes. Songs of both bird species' and contact calls of the blue-eyed black lemur were used as a control. After alarm calls of crested coua, Madagascar magpie-robin and aerial alarm of the blue-eyed black lemur, the lemurs scanned up and their vigilance increased significantly. After presentation of terrestrial alarm and agitation calls of the blue-eyed black lemur, the animals did not show significant changes in scanning direction or in the duration of vigilance. Sportive lemur vigilance decreased after playbacks of songs of the bird species and contact calls of blue-eyed black lemurs. Our results indicate that the Sahamalaza sportive lemur is capable of using information on predator presence as well as predator type of different sympatric species, using their referential signals to detect predators early, and that the lemurs' reactions are based on experience and learning.

RevDate: 2018-11-13
CmpDate: 2013-11-26

Vail AL, Manica A, R Bshary (2013)

Referential gestures in fish collaborative hunting.

Nature communications, 4:1765.

In humans, referential gestures intentionally draw the attention of a partner to an object of mutual interest, and are considered a key element in language development. Outside humans, referential gestures have only been attributed to great apes and, most recently, ravens. This was interpreted as further evidence for the comparable cognitive abilities of primates and corvids. Here we describe a signal that coral reef fishes, the grouper Plectropomus pessuliferus marisrubri and coral trout Plectropomus leopardus, use to indicate hidden prey to cooperative hunting partners, including giant moray eels Gymnothorax javanicus, Napoleon wrasses Chelinus undulatus and octopuses Octopus cyanea. We provide evidence that the signal possesses the five attributes proposed to infer a referential gesture: it is directed towards an object, mechanically ineffective, directed towards a potential recipient, receives a voluntary response and demonstrates hallmarks of intentionality. Thus, referential gesture use is not restricted to large-brained vertebrates.


RJR Experience and Expertise


Robbins holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in the life sciences. He served as a tenured faculty member in the Zoology and Biological Science departments at Michigan State University. He is currently exploring the intersection between genomics, microbial ecology, and biodiversity — an area that promises to transform our understanding of the biosphere.


Robbins has extensive experience in college-level education: At MSU he taught introductory biology, genetics, and population genetics. At JHU, he was an instructor for a special course on biological database design. At FHCRC, he team-taught a graduate-level course on the history of genetics. At Bellevue College he taught medical informatics.


Robbins has been involved in science administration at both the federal and the institutional levels. At NSF he was a program officer for database activities in the life sciences, at DOE he was a program officer for information infrastructure in the human genome project. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he served as a vice president for fifteen years.


Robbins has been involved with information technology since writing his first Fortran program as a college student. At NSF he was the first program officer for database activities in the life sciences. At JHU he held an appointment in the CS department and served as director of the informatics core for the Genome Data Base. At the FHCRC he was VP for Information Technology.


While still at Michigan State, Robbins started his first publishing venture, founding a small company that addressed the short-run publishing needs of instructors in very large undergraduate classes. For more than 20 years, Robbins has been operating The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, a web site dedicated to the digital publishing of critical works in science, especially classical genetics.


Robbins is well-known for his speaking abilities and is often called upon to provide keynote or plenary addresses at international meetings. For example, in July, 2012, he gave a well-received keynote address at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Congress, sponsored by GBIF and held in Copenhagen. The slides from that talk can be seen HERE.


Robbins is a skilled meeting facilitator. He prefers a participatory approach, with part of the meeting involving dynamic breakout groups, created by the participants in real time: (1) individuals propose breakout groups; (2) everyone signs up for one (or more) groups; (3) the groups with the most interested parties then meet, with reports from each group presented and discussed in a subsequent plenary session.


Robbins has been engaged with photography and design since the 1960s, when he worked for a professional photography laboratory. He now prefers digital photography and tools for their precision and reproducibility. He designed his first web site more than 20 years ago and he personally designed and implemented this web site. He engages in graphic design as a hobby.

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This is a must read book for anyone with an interest in invasion biology. The full title of the book lays out the author's premise — The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature's Salvation. Not only is species movement not bad for ecosystems, it is the way that ecosystems respond to perturbation — it is the way ecosystems heal. Even if you are one of those who is absolutely convinced that invasive species are actually "a blight, pollution, an epidemic, or a cancer on nature", you should read this book to clarify your own thinking. True scientific understanding never comes from just interacting with those with whom you already agree. R. Robbins

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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

Reprints and preprints of publications, slide presentations, instructional materials, and data compilations written or prepared by Robert Robbins. Most papers deal with computational biology, genome informatics, using information technology to support biomedical research, and related matters.

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. According to a study by Nature and an article in Times Higher Education , it is the largest academic social network in terms of active users.

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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