Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 538498
Title Differential effects of brain size on memory performance in parasitic wasps
Author(s) Woude, Emma van der; Huigens, Martinus E.; Smid, Hans M.
Source Animal Behaviour 141 (2018). - ISSN 0003-3472 - p. 57 - 66.
Department(s) Laboratory of Entomology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Availibility Full text available from 2020-07-01
Keyword(s) brain scaling - Haller's rule - isometry - learning - memory - parasitic wasp
Abstract Small animals usually have relatively larger brains than large animals. This allometric brain–body size scaling is described by Haller's rule. However, one of the smallest known insects, Trichogramma evanescens, a parasitic wasp, shows brain isometry, leading to similar relative brain sizes in small and large conspecifics. The somewhat larger Nasonia vitripennis parasitic wasp displays diphasic brain–body size scaling with isometry in small individuals and allometry in large individuals. These two species may have undersized brains for small wasps, with reduced cognitive abilities. Here, we induced intraspecific body size variation in genetically identical T. evanescens and N. vitripennis and examined cognitive trade-offs of brain scaling. We compared visual and olfactory memory retention between small and large conspecifics. Results showed that diphasic brain scaling affected memory retention levels in N. vitripennis, whereas isometric brain scaling did not affect memory retention in T. evanescens. The two species may experience different evolutionary pressures that have shaped the cognitive consequences of isometric brain–body size scaling. A possible trade-off of brain isometry in T. evanescens could be present in brain properties other than memory performance. In contrast, it may be more adaptive for N. vitripennis to invest in other aspects of brain performance, at the cost of memory retention.
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