Chicks trained to identify a target item in a sagittally-oriented series of identical items show a higher accuracy for the target on the left, rather than that on the right, at test when the series was rotated by 90˚. Such bias seems to be due to a right hemispheric dominance in visuospatial tasks. Up to now, the bias was highlighted by looking at accuracy, the measure mostly used in non-human studies to detect spatial numerical association, SNA. In the present study, processing by each hemisphere was assessed by scoring three variables: accuracy, response times and direction of approach. Domestic chicks were tested under monocular vision conditions, as in the avian brain input to each eye is mostly processed by the contralateral hemisphere. Four-day-old chicks learnt to peck at the 4th element in a sagittal series of 10 identical elements. At test, when facing a series oriented fronto-parallel, birds confined their responses to the visible hemifield, with high accuracy for the 4th element. The first element in the series was also highly selected, suggesting an anchoring strategy to start the proto-counting at one end of the series. In the left monocular condition, chicks approached the series starting from the left, and in the right monocular condition, they started from the right. Both hemispheres appear to exploit the same strategy, scanning the series from the most lateral element in the clear hemifield. Remarkably, there was no effect in the response times: equal latency was scored for correct or incorrect and for left vs. right responses. Overall, these data indicate that the measures implying a direction of choice, accuracy and direction of approach, and not velocity, i.e., response times, can highlight SNA in this paradigm. We discuss the relevance of the selected measures to unveil SNA.

Approach direction and accuracy, but not response times, show spatial-numerical association in chicks

Rugani, Rosa
Conceptualization
;
Regolin, Lucia
2021

Abstract

Chicks trained to identify a target item in a sagittally-oriented series of identical items show a higher accuracy for the target on the left, rather than that on the right, at test when the series was rotated by 90˚. Such bias seems to be due to a right hemispheric dominance in visuospatial tasks. Up to now, the bias was highlighted by looking at accuracy, the measure mostly used in non-human studies to detect spatial numerical association, SNA. In the present study, processing by each hemisphere was assessed by scoring three variables: accuracy, response times and direction of approach. Domestic chicks were tested under monocular vision conditions, as in the avian brain input to each eye is mostly processed by the contralateral hemisphere. Four-day-old chicks learnt to peck at the 4th element in a sagittal series of 10 identical elements. At test, when facing a series oriented fronto-parallel, birds confined their responses to the visible hemifield, with high accuracy for the 4th element. The first element in the series was also highly selected, suggesting an anchoring strategy to start the proto-counting at one end of the series. In the left monocular condition, chicks approached the series starting from the left, and in the right monocular condition, they started from the right. Both hemispheres appear to exploit the same strategy, scanning the series from the most lateral element in the clear hemifield. Remarkably, there was no effect in the response times: equal latency was scored for correct or incorrect and for left vs. right responses. Overall, these data indicate that the measures implying a direction of choice, accuracy and direction of approach, and not velocity, i.e., response times, can highlight SNA in this paradigm. We discuss the relevance of the selected measures to unveil SNA.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3405820
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