A1 Journal article (refereed)
Exploratory behaviour is not related to associative learning ability in the carabid beetle Nebria brevicollis (2020)

Harris, C., Liedtke, J., Drees, C., & Schuett, W. (2020). Exploratory behaviour is not related to associative learning ability in the carabid beetle Nebria brevicollis. Behavioural Processes, 180, Article 104224. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2020.104224

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Harris, Ciaran; Liedtke, Jannis; Drees, Claudia; Schuett, Wiebke

Journal or series: Behavioural Processes

ISSN: 0376-6357

eISSN: 1872-8308

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 180

Article number: 104224

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication country: Netherlands

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2020.104224

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/71654


Recently, it has been hypothesised that as learning performance and animal personality vary along a common axis of fast and slow types, natural selection may act on both in parallel leading to a correlation between learning and personality traits. We examined the relationship between risk-taking and exploratory behaviour and associative learning ability in carabid beetle Nebria brevicollis females by quantifying the number of trials individuals required to reach criterion during an associative learning task (‘learning performance’). The associative learning task required the females to associate odour and direction with refugia from light and heat in a T-maze. Further, we assessed learning performance in a reversal task by quantifying the number of correct trials when the reinforcement was switched to previously unrewarding stimuli. We found that N. brevicollis females can associate conditional stimuli with a reward. No female was able to reverse the learned association within the number of trials given, however individuals differed in the number of correct trials in the reversal phase. Contrary to previous predictions neither exploratory behaviour, which was repeatable, nor risk-taking were correlated with learning performance. Our results suggest that the relationship between learning and personality may not take a common form across species.

Keywords: animal behaviour; cognition; learning; beetles; ground beetles

Free keywords: cognition; exploration; ground beetle; invertebrate; novel environment; personality

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-14-09 at 11:54