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23 Sep 2020 at 01:37
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Bibliography on: Corvids: Communication


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 23 Sep 2020 at 01:37 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: 2020-09-14
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: 2020-09-03

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 pii:S0269-7491(20)36172-8 [Epub ahead of print].

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: 2020-08-23

Jokel A, Armstrong E, Gabis L, et al (2020)

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) pii:000505744 [Epub ahead of print].

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: 2020-07-14
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: 2020-07-01
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: 2020-03-28

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: 2020-01-30
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: 2020-01-18

Dutour M, AR Ridley (2020)

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

Behavioural processes pii:S0376-6357(19)30305-5 [Epub ahead of print].

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: 2020-01-02

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: 2019-12-10
CmpDate: 1996-12-04

Jay SJ (1996)

A conversation with C. Everett Koop, M.D.. Interview by Stephen J. Jay.

Indiana medicine : the journal of the Indiana State Medical Association, 89(2):116-120.

RevDate: 2019-12-10
CmpDate: 1991-10-17

Bargagliotti LA, Jones DL, Trygstad L, et al (1991)

Joint venture arrangement for RN to BSN. A model of synergy between academia and service.

Nursing & health care : official publication of the National League for Nursing, 12(7):380-384.

The joint venture between or among educational and practice institutions is fast becoming the norm in nursing education and practice. Authors Bargagliotti, Jones, Trygstad, Hayward, Crow, and Bower, describe one such program enabling RNs to pursue the BSN degree.

RevDate: 2019-11-18

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: 2019-11-13

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: 2019-09-11

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

Volitional control of vocalizations in corvid songbirds.

PLoS biology, 17(8):e3000375 pii:PBIOLOGY-D-19-00036.

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: 2019-10-23

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.

RevDate: 2019-07-11

Parvathy VS, S Pothiraj (2019)

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

Health care management science pii:10.1007/s10729-019-09492-2 [Epub ahead of print].

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: 2019-10-24

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: 2019-11-20

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: 2019-10-04

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: 2019-11-20

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: 2019-11-20

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

Vocal recognition of a nest-predator in black grouse.

PeerJ, 7:e6533 pii:6533.

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: 2019-11-20

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

Cholecystokinin induces crowing in chickens.

Scientific reports, 9(1):3978 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-40746-9.

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: 2019-11-20

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: 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: 2019-04-19
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: 2019-11-20

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: 2019-11-20

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: 2019-11-20

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: 2018-12-02
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: 2018-03-29
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: 2018-11-13
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: 2018-11-13
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: 2019-04-30
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: 2017-02-21
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: 2019-11-20

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: 2019-11-20

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: 2016-11-25
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: 2018-11-13
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: 2015-11-19
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: 2018-11-13
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.

RevDate: 2013-07-30
CmpDate: 2014-05-26

Cahill M, O'Donnell M, Warren A, et al (2013)

Enhancing interprofessional student practice through a case-based model.

Journal of interprofessional care, 27(4):333-335.

Healthcare workers are increasingly being called upon to work collaboratively in practice to improve patient care and it seems imperative that interprofessional working should be mirrored in student education, especially during placements. This short report describes a qualitative evaluation of a client-centered, case-based model of interprofessional education (IPE) which aimed to improve interprofessional communication and team working skills for the students and therapists involved in practice placements. The IPE project implemented the meet, assess, goal set, plan, implement, evaluate (MAGPIE) framework for interprofessional case-based teaching (Queensland-Health (2008)) alongside the International Classification of Function, Disability and Health (ICF) (WHO, 2001). Three separate focus groups explored the experiences of the students, therapists and placement facilitators from the disciplines of occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy. Three themes emerged: IPE as a motivating experience, IPE enhancing the depth of learning and clarity of expectations. This report concluded that IPE in the clinical setting, using the client-centered MAGPIE model, provided a strong foundation for enhanced learning in practice education contexts.

RevDate: 2018-11-13
CmpDate: 2013-01-22

Pika S (2012)

The case of referential gestural signaling: Where next?.

Communicative & integrative biology, 5(6):578-582.

Referential acts play a crucial part in our every day communication since human language is, in its essence, a referential system. Reference can be made via icons, indices and signs but also via ostensive/inferential gestural communication, in which the behavior of the actor directs the attention of the recipient to particular aspects of the environment. The earliest uses of ostensive/inferential communication can be observed in human children around the age of nine to 12 mo. However, what about comparable gestures in our closest living relatives, the nonhuman primates or other animal taxa? The present paper aims to provide a brief overview of the state of the art to encourage future research into the evolutionary origins and uses of referential gestural signaling.

RevDate: 2018-11-13
CmpDate: 2013-05-23

Shaw RC, NS Clayton (2013)

Careful cachers and prying pilferers: Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius) limit auditory information available to competitors.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 280(1752):20122238.

Food-storing corvids use many cache-protection and pilfering strategies. We tested whether Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius) reduce the transfer of auditory information to a competitor when caching and pilfering. We gave jays a noisy and a quiet substrate to cache in. Compared with when alone, birds cached less in the noisy substrate when with a conspecific that could hear but could not see them caching. By contrast, jays did not change the amount cached in the noisy substrate when they were with a competitor that could see and hear them caching compared with when they were alone. Together, these results suggest that jays reduce auditory information during caching as a cache-protection strategy. By contrast, as pilferers, jays did not attempt to conceal their presence from a cacher and did not prefer a silent viewing perch over a noisy one when observing caching. However, birds vocalized less when watching caching compared with when they were alone, when they were watching a non-caching conspecific or when they were watching their own caches being pilfered. Pilfering jays may therefore attempt to suppress some types of auditory information. Our results raise the possibility that jays both understand and can attribute auditory perception to another individual.

RevDate: 2012-07-13
CmpDate: 2012-07-27

McMillan I (2012)

Step change.

Nursing standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain) : 1987), 26(38):18-20.

Staffat a south east London NHS trust are discovering how dance can improve their communication with patients with learning disabilities. Weekly dance sessions, run by Magpie Dance, are now also being made available to people with dementia, autism and other conditions. Through dance people can express emotion, build confidence and change their lives.

RevDate: 2017-03-06
CmpDate: 2017-03-06

Anonymous (2012)

Step change Ian McMillan Step change is a Freelance journalist.

Nursing standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain) : 1987), 26(38):18-20.

Staff at a south east London NHS trust are discovering how dance can improve their communication with patients with learning disabilities. Weekly dance sessions, run by Magpie Dance, are now also being made available to people with dementia, autism and other conditions. Through dance people can express emotion, build confidence and change their lives.

RevDate: 2018-11-13
CmpDate: 2013-04-12

Wascher CA, Szipl G, Boeckle M, et al (2012)

You sound familiar: carrion crows can differentiate between the calls of known and unknown heterospecifics.

Animal cognition, 15(5):1015-1019.

In group-living animals, it is adaptive to recognize conspecifics on the basis of familiarity or group membership as it allows association with preferred social partners and avoidance of competitors. However, animals do not only associate with conspecifics but also with heterospecifics, for example in mixed-species flocks. Consequently, between-species recognition, based either on familiarity or even individual recognition, is likely to be beneficial. The extent to which animals can distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar heterospecifics is currently unclear. In the present study, we investigated the ability of eight carrion crows to differentiate between the voices and calls of familiar and unfamiliar humans and jackdaws. The crows responded significantly more often to unfamiliar than familiar human playbacks and, conversely, responded more to familiar than unfamiliar jackdaw calls. Our results provide the first evidence that birds can discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar heterospecific individuals using auditory stimuli.

RevDate: 2018-11-13
CmpDate: 2012-09-10

Boeckle M, T Bugnyar (2012)

Long-term memory for affiliates in ravens.

Current biology : CB, 22(9):801-806.

Complex social life requires individuals to recognize and remember group members and, within those, to distinguish affiliates from nonaffiliates. Whereas long-term individual recognition has been demonstrated in some nonhuman animals, memory for the relationship valence to former group members has received little attention. Here we show that adult, pair-housed ravens not only respond differently to the playback of calls from previous group members and unfamiliar conspecifics but also discriminate between familiar birds according to the relationship valence they had to those subjects up to three years ago as subadult nonbreeders. The birds' distinction between familiar and unfamiliar individuals is reflected mainly in the number of calls, whereas their differentiation according to relationship valence is reflected in call modulation only. As compared to their response to affiliates, ravens responded to nonaffiliates by increasing chaotic parts of the vocalization and lowering formant spacing, potentially exaggerating the perceived impression of body size. Our findings indicate that ravens remember relationship qualities to former group members even after long periods of separation, confirming that their sophisticated social knowledge as nonbreeders is maintained into the territorial breeding stage.

RevDate: 2013-11-21
CmpDate: 2013-01-22

Derégnaucourt S, Saar S, M Gahr (2012)

Melatonin affects the temporal pattern of vocal signatures in birds.

Journal of pineal research, 53(3):245-258.

In humans and other animals, melatonin is involved in the control of circadian biological rhythms. Here, we show that melatonin affects the temporal pattern of behavioral sequences in a noncircadian manner. The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) song and the crow of the Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) are courtship vocalizations composed of a stereotyped sequence of syllables. The zebra finch song is learned from conspecifics during infancy, whereas the Japanese quail crow develops normally without auditory input. We recorded and analyzed the complete vocal activity of adult birds of both species kept in social isolation for several weeks. In both species, we observed a shortening of signal duration following the transfer from a light-dark (LD) cycle to constant light (LL), a condition known to abolish melatonin production and to disrupt circadian rhythmicity. This effect was reversible because signal duration increased when the photoperiod was returned to the previous LD schedule. We then tested whether this effect was directly related to melatonin by removal of the pineal gland, which is the main production site of circulating melatonin. A shortening of the song duration was observed following pinealectomy in LD. Likewise, melatonin treatment induced changes in the temporal structure of the song. In a song learning experiment, young pinealectomized finches and young finches raised in LL failed to copy the temporal pattern of their tutor's song. Taken together, these results suggest that melatonin is involved in the control of motor timing of noncircadian behavioral sequences through an evolutionary conserved neuroendocrine pathway.

RevDate: 2012-02-13
CmpDate: 2012-05-22

Whitehouse AJ, Robinson M, Newnham JP, et al (2012)

Do hypertensive diseases of pregnancy disrupt neurocognitive development in offspring?.

Paediatric and perinatal epidemiology, 26(2):101-108.

The current study sought to determine whether hypertensive diseases of pregnancy (gestational hypertension and pre-eclampsia) are associated with neurocognitive outcomes in middle childhood. Participants were members of the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study. Data were available for 1389 children (675 females; mean age = 10.59 years; SD = 0.19). Twenty-five per cent of these participants were offspring of pregnancies complicated by either gestational hypertension (n = 279), or pre-eclampsia (n = 34). Verbal ability at age 10 years was assessed with the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test - Revised (PPVT-R), and non-verbal ability with Ravens Colored Progressive Matrices (RCPM). Separate multivariable regression analyses, incorporating sociodemographic, antenatal, obstetric and postnatal covariates, investigated the effect of a two- (normotensive pregnancy vs. hypertensive pregnancy) and three-level (normotensive pregnancy vs. gestational hypertension vs. pre-eclampsia) predictor variable on PPVT-R and RCPM scores. Offspring of pregnancies complicated by maternal hypertension (gestational hypertension or pre-eclampsia) had a mean PPVT-R score that was 1.83 ([95% confidence interval (CI) -3.48, -0.17], P = 0.03) points lower than children from normotensive pregnancies. Multivariable regression analysis also identified a significant inverse association between the three-level predictor variable and offspring PPVT-R scores (P = 0.02). Gestational hypertension (without pre-eclampsia) reduced offspring PPVT-R scores by 1.71 points [95% CI -3.39, -0.03] and pre-eclampsia led to a reduction of 3.53 points [95% CI -8.41, 1.35], although this latter association did not achieve statistical significance. There was no effect of the two- (P = 0.99) or three-level (P = 0.92) predictor variable on RCPM scores. Maternal hypertensive diseases of pregnancy are a risk factor for a small reduction in offspring verbal ability.

RevDate: 2018-11-13
CmpDate: 2012-05-08

Brañas-Garza P, A Rustichini (2011)

Organizing effects of testosterone and economic behavior: not just risk taking.

PloS one, 6(12):e29842.

Recent literature emphasizes the role that testosterone, as well as markers indicating early exposure to T and its organizing effect on the brain (such as the ratio of second to fourth finger, [Formula: see text]), have on performance in financial markets. These results may suggest that the main effect of T, either circulating or in fetal exposure, on economic behavior occurs through the increased willingness to take risks. However, these findings indicate that traders with a low digit ratio are not only more profitable, but more able to survive in the long run, thus the effect might consist of more than just lower risk aversion. In addition, recent literature suggests a positive correlation between abstract reasoning ability and higher willingness to take risks. To test the two hypotheses of testosterone on performance in financial activities (effect on risk attitude versus a complex effect involving risk attitude and reasoning ability), we gather data on the three variables in a sample of 188 ethnically homogeneous college students (Caucasians). We measure a [Formula: see text] digit ratio, abstract reasoning ability with the Raven Progressive Matrices task, and risk attitude with choice among lotteries. Low digit ratio in men is associated with higher risk taking and higher scores in abstract reasoning ability when a combined measure of risk aversion over different tasks is used. This explains both the higher performance and higher survival rate observed in traders, as well as the observed correlation between abstract reasoning ability and risk taking. We also analyze how much of the total effect of digit ratio on risk attitude is direct, and how much is mediated. Mediation analysis shows that a substantial part of the effect of T on attitude to risk is mediated by abstract reasoning ability.

RevDate: 2018-11-13
CmpDate: 2012-10-02

Kondo N, Izawa E, S Watanabe (2012)

Crows cross-modally recognize group members but not non-group members.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 279(1735):1937-1942.

Recognizing other individuals by integrating different sensory modalities is a crucial ability of social animals, including humans. Although cross-modal individual recognition has been demonstrated in mammals, the extent of its use by birds remains unknown. Herein, we report the first evidence of cross-modal recognition of group members by a highly social bird, the large-billed crow (Corvus macrorhynchos). A cross-modal expectancy violation paradigm was used to test whether crows were sensitive to identity congruence between visual presentation of a group member and the subsequent playback of a contact call. Crows looked more rapidly and for a longer duration when the visual and auditory stimuli were incongruent than when congruent. Moreover, these responses were not observed with non-group member stimuli. These results indicate that crows spontaneously associate visual and auditory information of group members but not of non-group members, which is a demonstration of cross-modal audiovisual recognition of group members in birds.

RevDate: 2019-11-20

Loretto MC, Fraser ON, T Bugnyar (2012)

Ontogeny of Social Relations and Coalition Formation in Common Ravens (Corvus corax).

International journal of comparative psychology, 25(3):180-194.

The social intelligence hypothesis, originally developed for primates to explain their high intelligence and large relative brain size, assumes that challenges posed by social life in complex societies with many group members lead to the evolution of advanced cognitive abilities. In birds, pair-bonded species have larger brains than non-pair bonded species, indicating that the quality of social relationships better predicts social complexity than group size. Ravens are a long-term monogamous and territorial species, renowned for their sophisticated socio-cognitive skills and complex social relationships. Notably, during their early years they live in fission-fusion-like non-breeder societies in which social relationships could be of particular importance. Here we observed the development of dominance and affiliative relationships in 12 hand-raised captive ravens, examining the influence of age, sex and kinship on social interactions. Furthermore, we investigated at which developmental step a stable hierarchy emerged, whether third-party interventions played a role and how selectively birds intervened in others' conflicts. At 4-5 months post-fledging, we found an increase in socio-positive behaviour and a decrease in aggression, along with the establishment of a linear dominance rank hierarchy. In line with kin selection theory, siblings exhibited a greater degree of tolerance and engaged in more socio-positive behaviour. In their first few months, ravens frequently intervened in others' conflicts but supported mainly the aggressor; later on, their support became more selective towards kin and close social partners. These findings indicate that ravens engage in sophisticated social behaviours and form stable relationships already in their first year of life.

RevDate: 2013-03-18
CmpDate: 2013-09-18

Morange M (2012)

Synthetic biology: a challenge to mechanical explanations in biology?.

Perspectives in biology and medicine, 55(4):543-553.

In their plans to modify organisms, synthetic biologists have contrasted engineering and tinkering. By drawing this contrast between their endeavors and what has happened during the evolution of organisms by natural selection, they underline the novelty of their projects and justify their ambitions. Synthetic biologists are at odds with a long tradition that has considered organisms as "perfect machines." This tradition had already been questioned by Stephen Jay Gould in the 1970s and received a major blow with the comparison made by François Jacob between organisms and the results of "bricolage" (tinkering). These contrasts between engineering and tinkering, synthetic biology and evolution, have no raison d'être. Machines built by humans are increasingly inspired by observations made on organisms. This is not a simple reversal of the previous trend-the mechanical conception of organisms-in which the characteristics of the latter were explained by comparison with human-built machines. Relations between organisms and machines have always been complex and ambiguous.

RevDate: 2018-11-13
CmpDate: 2012-01-17

Li C, Yang X, Ding Y, et al (2011)

Do Père David's deer lose memories of their ancestral predators?.

PloS one, 6(8):e23623.

Whether prey retains antipredator behavior after a long period of predator relaxation is an important question in predator-prey evolution. Père David's deer have been raised in enclosures for more than 1200 years and this isolation provides an opportunity to study whether Père David's deer still respond to the cues of their ancestral predators or to novel predators. We played back the sounds of crows (familiar sound) and domestic dogs (familiar non-predators), of tigers and wolves (ancestral predators), and of lions (potential naïve predator) to Père David's deer in paddocks, and blank sounds to the control group, and videoed the behavior of the deer during the experiment. We also showed life-size photo models of dog, leopard, bear, tiger, wolf, and lion to the deer and video taped their responses after seeing these models. Père David's deer stared at and approached the hidden loudspeaker when they heard the roars of tiger or lion. The deer listened to tiger roars longer, approached to tiger roars more and spent more time staring at the tiger model. The stags were also found to forage less in the trials of tiger roars than that of other sound playbacks. Additionally, it took longer for the deer to restore their normal behavior after they heard tiger roars, which was longer than that after the trial of other sound playbacks. Moreover, the deer were only found to walk away after hearing the sounds of tiger and wolf. Therefore, the tiger was probably the main predator for Père David's deer in ancient time. Our study implies that Père David's deer still retain the memories of the acoustic and visual cues of their ancestral predators in spite of the long term isolation from natural habitat.

RevDate: 2011-09-06
CmpDate: 2012-06-12

Perego P, Turconi AC, Andreoni G, et al (2011)

Cognitive ability assessment by brain-computer interface validation of a new assessment method for cognitive abilities.

Journal of neuroscience methods, 201(1):239-250.

Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) are systems which can provide communication and environmental control to people with severe neuromuscular diseases. The current study proposes a new BCI-based method for psychometric assessment when traditional or computerized testing cannot be used owing to the subject's output impairment. This administration protocol was based on, and validated against, a widely used clinical test (Raven Colored Progressive Matrix) in order to verify whether BCI affects the brain in terms of cognitive resource with a misstatement result. The operating protocol was structured into two phases: phase 1 was aimed at configuring the BCI system on the subject's features and train him/her to use it; during phase 2 the BCI system was reconfigured and the test performed. A step-by-step checking procedure was adopted to verify progressive inclusion/exclusion criteria and the underpinning variables. The protocol was validated on 19 healthy subjects and the BCI-based administration was compared with a paper-based administration. The results obtained by both methods were correlated as known for traditional assessment of a similarly culture free and reasoning based test. Although our findings need to be validated on pathological participants, in our healthy population the BCI-based administration did not affect performance and added a further control of the response due to the several variables included and analyzed by the computerized task.

RevDate: 2013-11-21
CmpDate: 2011-08-26

Martín-Gálvez D, Pérez-Contreras T, Soler M, et al (2011)

Benefits associated with escalated begging behaviour of black-billed magpie nestlings overcompensate the associated energetic costs.

The Journal of experimental biology, 214(Pt 9):1463-1472.

Several experimental results support the existence of costs associated with exaggerated begging behaviour, which are assumed by some theoretical models of honest signalling in parent-offspring communication. However, to understand how honest begging behaviour is evolutionarily maintained in nature, the long-term cost-benefit output associated with exaggerated signals should also be estimated. As far as we know, the net cost-benefit balance of begging display has not previously been explored. Here, we used an appetite stimulant, cyproheptadine hydrochloride, to increase the feeling of hunger in some magpie nestlings. Supporting the use of cyproheptadine to manipulate hunger level and thereby begging behaviour, we found that experimental nestlings increased the frequency of begging and received more food than their control nestmates. Contrary to the expectation that physiological costs per se counteract the associated benefits of escalated begging signals, we found that near-fledging experimental magpies showed a better physical condition than control nestlings. These findings stress the interesting question of why magpie nestlings do not show to adults an escalated level of hunger if it implies an advantage. We discuss the responsibility of inclusive fitness costs and indirect genetic effects for the maintenance of honesty in parent-offspring communication.

RevDate: 2019-10-27
CmpDate: 2011-06-23

Hsu H (2011)

Seeing Jay-Z in Taipei.

Daedalus, 140(1):163-173.

How does the newly arrived immigrant respond to the news that an identity already awaits him? How does an African American hip-hop artist translate his struggles and triumphs across oceanic divides? What significance do American demographic shifts have in a global context? Hsu's essay examines what happens once individuals or identities migrate beyond the contexts that first produced them. He explores a variety of circuits: the satellite communities of Asian immigrant students who arrived on American university campuses in the late 1960s; enduring debates about a "post-city" identity, spurred by advances in cheap, efficient, world-shrinking communication technologies; and the new affinities and categories of self-identification made possible by a present-day culture that prizes interactivity and participation.

RevDate: 2011-04-06
CmpDate: 2011-07-19

Yang C, Zhang Y, Cai Y, et al (2011)

Female crowing and differential responses to simulated conspecific intrusion in male and female Hainan partridge (Arborophila ardens).

Zoological science, 28(4):249-253.

Vocalizations of Hainan partridges (Arborophila ardens) during the breeding season were studied, by making use of playback experiments, in Yinggeling Nature Reserve, Hainan Island, China. Both males and females were found to crow and to produce duet calls during the breeding season, and there was a sex difference in crowing as shown by spectrogram analyses. Both sexes responded strongly to simulated intrusion from pairs of conspecifics. However, it was found that males responded to intrasexual intrusion to a greater extent than to intersexual intrusion. Moreover, females responded strongly to both intra- and intersexual intrusion. Female-female response is proposed as a behavioral mechanism that favors monogamy in the Hainan partridge, and a generally high response to any kind of vocal stimuli indicates that females may play an important role in territory defense in this species. To our knowledge, this is the first report for female crowing in the genus Arborophila, and the second case for female crowing in the family Phasianidae.

RevDate: 2011-03-24
CmpDate: 2011-07-07

Collins MD (2011)

Putative audio recordings of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis).

The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 129(3):1626-1630.

Putative audio recordings of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis) are presented along with discussions of the videos from which they were extracted and the observations that were made when these data were obtained. On two occasions, high-pitched calls were heard coming from the direction of a bird that was identified in the field as an Ivory-billed Woodpecker. These calls seem to match the description of an alarm call that was reported in the 1930s. One of the videos captured a series of the high-pitched calls, which sound similar to the Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) bell call but do not match published sonograms of that call. A putative double knock, which is characteristic of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, was captured in another video a little over a minute before a large bird with characteristics consistent with an Ivory-billed Woodpecker flew into view. Since it is extremely difficult to observe this critically endangered species, information on audio clues could have an impact on its conservation.

RevDate: 2018-11-13
CmpDate: 2011-09-01

Range F, Z Virányi (2011)

Development of gaze following abilities in wolves (Canis lupus).

PloS one, 6(2):e16888.

The ability to coordinate with others' head and eye orientation to look in the same direction is considered a key step towards an understanding of others mental states like attention and intention. Here, we investigated the ontogeny and habituation patterns of gaze following into distant space and behind barriers in nine hand-raised wolves. We found that these wolves could use conspecific as well as human gaze cues even in the barrier task, which is thought to be more cognitively advanced than gazing into distant space. Moreover, while gaze following into distant space was already present at the age of 14 weeks and subjects did not habituate to repeated cues, gazing around a barrier developed considerably later and animals quickly habituated, supporting the hypothesis that different cognitive mechanisms may underlie the two gaze following modalities. More importantly, this study demonstrated that following another individuals' gaze around a barrier is not restricted to primates and corvids but is also present in canines, with remarkable between-group similarities in the ontogeny of this behaviour. This sheds new light on the evolutionary origins of and selective pressures on gaze following abilities as well as on the sensitivity of domestic dogs towards human communicative cues.

RevDate: 2018-11-13
CmpDate: 2011-09-01

Dekleva M, Dufour V, de Vries H, et al (2011)

Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) fail a what-where-when task but find rewards by using a location-based association strategy.

PloS one, 6(2):e16593.

Recollecting the what-where-when of an episode, or episodic-like memory, has been established in corvids and rodents. In humans, a linkage between remembering the past and imagining the future has been recognised. While chimpanzees can plan for the future, their episodic-like memory has hardly been investigated. We tested chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) with an adapted food-catching paradigm. They observed the baiting of two locations amongst four and chose one after a given delay (15 min, 1 h or 5 h). We used two combinations of food types, a preferred and a less preferred food that disappeared at different rates. The subjects had to base their choices on the time elapsed since baiting, and on their memory of which food was where. They could recover either their preferred food or the one that remained present. All animals failed to obtain the preferred or present foods above chance levels. They were like-wise unsuccessful at choosing baited cups above chance levels. The subjects, thus, failed to use any feature of the baiting events to guide their choices. Nonetheless, their choices were not random, but the result of a developed location-based association strategy. Choices in the second half of the study correlated with the rewards obtained at each location in the first half of the study, independent from the choices made for each location in the first half of the study. This simple location-based strategy yielded a fair amount of food. The animals' failure to remember the what-where-when in the presented set-up may be due to the complexity of the task, rather than an inability to form episodic-like memories, as they even failed to remember what was where after 15 minutes.

RevDate: 2011-03-11
CmpDate: 2011-07-01

Giovagnoli AR, B Bell (2011)

Drawing from memory in focal epilepsy: a cognitive and neural perspective.

Epilepsy research, 94(1-2):69-74.

This study provides evidence of non-verbal cognitive functioning in temporal (TLE) and frontal lobe epilepsy (FLE) patients by exploring the mechanisms and neural correlates of drawing abilities. Sixty-six patients with left (n=32) or right TLE (n=34), 30 patients with left (n=18) or right FLE (n=12), and 30 healthy subjects were compared. The Drawing from Memory (DfM) test required participants to design 16 living or non-living items; the total score was the sum of all scores blindly provided by three judges who had to identify the drawings. The verbal and visual Pyramid and Palm Trees Test (PPTT), Raven Colored Progressive Matrices (Raven CPM), Cube Analysis, Token Test, Word Fluency, Card Classification, and Rey Complex Figure Test Copy trial (Rey CFC) assessed different verbal and non-verbal functions. Non-parametric statistics indicated that, with respect to controls, both TLE groups and the left FLE patients had significantly lower DfM scores. In the TLE group, hierarchical regression analyses revealed that the DfM score was predicted by the Raven CPM and PPTT scores, while, in the FLE group, it was predicted by the Rey CFC. Thus, drawing abilities may be impaired by TLE or FLE owing to different mechanisms that involve semantic or executive abilities. Implying cooperation between temporal and frontal areas that support these functions, DfM may be a sensitive index of integrity of cortical areas or neural pathways damaged by focal epilepsy.

RevDate: 2013-05-10
CmpDate: 2011-08-03

Simonds VW, Rudd RE, Sequist TD, et al (2011)

An assessment of printed diabetes-prevention materials available to a Northern Plains tribe.

Journal of health communication, 16(4):431-447.

The purpose of this study was to characterize the literacy demands of print materials used to encourage diabetes prevention on the Crow Reservation. Diabetes-prevention materials included pamphlets, booklets, and fact sheets provided to Crow people. Readability was assessed using the SMOG formula. Diabetes related vocabulary was assessed to determine whether medical/scientific words were used and if they were defined. Numeracy demand was assessed by counting the number of times different numeracy concepts were used in each material. Lists, charts, and graphs were assessed using the PMOSE/IKIRSCH tool. We found that materials were written at a readability level higher than recommended. Across all materials, vocabulary terms were used often but not always defined. Numeric terms were not often used, but when used they were not defined. Most of the materials required the reader to read numbers or count. However, overall numeracy demand was relatively low. The PMOSE/IKIRSCH scores for materials were adequate. The authors found a mismatch between the level of skills required in some of the materials and the skills of the average person, including adults on the Crow Reservation. This study highlights the need for designing materials specifically for the intended audience, including rigorous pilot testing of materials.

RevDate: 2010-12-01
CmpDate: 2011-03-21

Hernandez EN, Solangi M, SA Kuczaj (2nd) (2010)

Time and frequency parameters of bottlenose dolphin whistles as predictors of surface behavior in the Mississippi Sound.

The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 127(5):3232-3238.

Acoustic characteristics related to contour of the whistle (such as highest and lowest frequency, beginning and ending frequency, whistle duration, and number of turns) of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) whistles were measured to test whether any of the measurements were related to the behavioral state of the dolphins when the whistle was recorded (coded as mill, travel, mill/travel, feed, or social). Objective measures of time and frequency were obtained using Raven, while number of turns in a whistle was determined by human raters. In all a series of discriminant function analyses using the acoustic characteristics to predict the behavioral state, the highest standardized canonical discriminant function coefficients were: lowest frequency, number of turns, and duration. The models that incorporated these variables performed significantly better than chance at correctly assigning the whistles into the surface behavior category in which they were recorded. The rate of whistling was related to group size, surface behavior and season via a series of two-way ANOVAs (analysis of variance).

RevDate: 2011-02-08
CmpDate: 2011-06-10

Koester D, NO Schiller (2011)

The functional neuroanatomy of morphology in language production.

NeuroImage, 55(2):732-741.

The present study investigated the neural correlates of morphological priming in overt Dutch language production using a long-lag priming paradigm. Compound words were read out loud as primes that were morphologically related to picture names (e.g. the word jaszak, 'coat pocket' was used for a picture of a coat; Dutch jas), or primes were form-related, but not morphologically related monomorphemic words (e.g. jasmijn, 'jasmine'). The morphologically related compounds could be semantically transparent (e.g. eksternest, 'magpie nest') or opaque (e.g. eksteroog, lit. 'magpie eye,' 'corn,' for a picture of a magpie, Dutch ekster). These four priming conditions were complemented by two matched, unrelated conditions. The production of morphologically related, complex words but not the production of form-related words facilitated subsequent picture naming. Also, morphologically related but not form-related words led to a neural priming effect in the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG). The effects did not differ for transparent and opaque relations. The results point to a functional role of LIFG in morphological information processing during language production contrary to previous meta-analytic findings. Specifically, morphological priming effects in language production seem to be independent from semantic overlap. However, further research should confirm the independence of morphological and phonological factors. It is suggested that LIFG subserves word form encoding in language production.


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

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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RJR Picks from Around the Web (updated 11 MAY 2018 )