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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Data from: Sex-specific responses to territorial intrusions in a communication network: evidence from radio-tagged great tits
Snijders, L. ; Oers, Kees van; Naguib, M. - \ 2017
communication network - animal social network - sexual selection - eavesdropping - social information - signaling - Parus major
This file includes all the data used for the statistical analyses in the manuscript. The data include information on the experimental stimuli, the subject's individual traits, vocal response, spatial response, and the neighborhood response (3 sheets). An additional sheet provides the legend for the column names.
Accurate decisions in an uncertain world: collective cognition increases true positives while decreasing false positives
Wolf, M. ; Kurvers, R.H.J.M. ; Ward, A.J.W. ; Krause, S. ; Krause, J. - \ 2013
Proceedings of the Royal Society. B: Biological Sciences 280 (2013)1756. - ISSN 0962-8452 - 9 p.
antipredator vigilance - social information - predatory attack - fish shoals - flocking - evolution - selection - flight - birds - foragers
In a wide range of contexts, including predator avoidance, medical decision-making and security screening, decision accuracy is fundamentally constrained by the trade-off between true and false positives. Increased true positives are possible only at the cost of increased false positives; conversely, decreased false positives are associated with decreased true positives. We use an integrated theoretical and experimental approach to show that a group of decision-makers can overcome this basic limitation. Using a mathematical model, we show that a simple quorum decision rule enables individuals in groups to simultaneously increase true positives and decrease false positives. The results from a predator-detection experiment that we performed with humans are in line with these predictions: (i) after observing the choices of the other group members, individuals both increase true positives and decrease false positives, (ii) this effect gets stronger as group size increases, (iii) individuals use a quorum threshold set between the average true- and false- positive rates of the other group members, and (iv) individuals adjust their quorum adaptively to the performance of the group. Our results have broad implications for our understanding of the ecology and evolution of group-living animals and lend themselves for applications in the human domain such as the design of improved screening methods in medical, forensic, security and business applications.
Feelings of Safety: Ironic Consequences of Police Patrolling
Veer, E. van de; Lange, M.A. de; Haar, E. van der; Karremans, J.C. - \ 2012
Journal of Applied Social Psychology 42 (2012)12. - ISSN 0021-9029 - p. 3114 - 3125.
attention-grabbing power - automatic vigilance - social information - crime - fear - disorder
Increasing police patrolling is often assumed to be an effective means of enhancing general feelings of safety. This relationship between perceiving police and feelings of safety was tested by having police officers patrol during a field experiment (Study 1) and by manipulating the police presence in pictures of neighborhoods in a laboratory experiment (Study 2). Both studies show that in environments that are generally considered to be safe, feelings of safety are not increased by police presence. Moreover, men feel less safe when police are present compared with when police are absent. The results are discussed in terms of possible underlying mechanisms and implications for police patrolling.
The effect of exploration on the use of producer-scrounger tactics
Kurvers, R.H.J.M. ; Hamblin, S. ; Giraldeau, L.A. - \ 2012
PLoS One 7 (2012)11. - ISSN 1932-6203
sticklebacks gasterosteus-aculeatus - guppy poecilia-reticulata - foraging group-structure - behavioral syndromes - genetic algorithms - individual specialization - fitness consequences - information-centers - social information - animal personality
Individuals foraging in groups can use two different tactics for obtaining food resources. Individuals can either search for food sources themselves (producing) or they can join food discoveries of others (scrounging). In this study we use a genetic algorithm in a spatially explicit producer-scrounger game to explore how individuals compromise between exploration (an important axis of animal personality) and scrounging and how characteristics of the environment affect this compromise. Agents varied in exploration and scrounging and a genetic algorithm searched for the optimal combination of exploration and scrounging. The foraging environments featured different levels of patch richness, predation and patch density. Our simulations show that under conditions of low patch densities slow exploring scroungers were favored whereas high patch density favored fast exploring individuals that either produced (at low patch richness) or scrounged (at high patch richness). In high predation environments fast exploring individuals were selected for but only at low to intermediate patch densities. Predation did not affect scrounging behavior. We did not find a divergence of exploration ‘types’ within a given environment, but there was a general association between exploration and scrounging across different environments: high rates of scrounging were observed over nearly the full spectrum of exploration values, whereas high rates of producing were only observed at high exploration values, suggesting that cases in which slow explorers start producing should be rare. Our results indicate that the spatial arrangement of food resources can affect the optimal social attraction rules between agents, the optimality of foraging tactic and the interaction between both.
Worms under cover: relationships between performance in learning tasks and personality in great tits (Parus major)
Amy, M. ; Oers, K. van; Naguib, M. - \ 2012
Animal Cognition 15 (2012)5. - ISSN 1435-9448 - p. 763 - 770.
risk-taking behavior - avian personalities - individual-differences - realized heritability - social information - evolution - cognition - traits - stress - prey
In animals, individual differences in learning ability are common and are in part explained by genetic differences, developmental conditions and by general experience. Yet, not all variations in learning are well understood. Individual differences in learning may be associated with elementary individual characteristics that are consistent across situations and over time, commonly referred to as personality or temperament. Here, we tested whether or not male great tits (Parus major) from two selection lines for fast or slow exploratory behaviour, an operational measure for avian personality, vary in their learning performance in two related consecutive tasks. In the first task, birds had to associate a colour with a reward whereas in the second task, they had to associate a new colour with a reward ignoring the previously rewarded colour. Slow explorers had shorter latencies to approach the experimental device compared with fast explorers in both tasks, but birds from the two selection lines did not differ in accomplishing the first task, that is, to associate a colour with a reward. However, in the second task, fast explorers had longer latencies to solve the trials than slow explorers. Moreover, relative to the number of trials needed to reach the learning criteria in the first task, birds from the slow selection line took more trials to associate a new colour with a reward while ignoring the previously learned association compared with birds from the fast selection line. Overall, the experiments suggest that personality in great tits is not strongly related to learning per se in such an association task, but that birds from different selection lines might express different learning strategies as birds from the different selection lines were differently affected by their previous learning performance.
No evidence for negative frequency-dependent feeding performance in relation to personality
Kurvers, R.H.J.M. ; Santen de Hoog, S.I. van; Wieren, S.E. van; Ydenberg, R.C. ; Prins, H.H.T. - \ 2012
Behavioral Ecology 23 (2012)1. - ISSN 1045-2249 - p. 51 - 57.
individual-differences - animal personalities - lonchura-punctulata - goose flocks - fitness consequences - avian personalities - social information - barnacle geese - captive flocks - spice finches
An increasing number of studies report the presence of consistent individual differences in behavior and/or physiology over time and context, known as animal personality. A pivotal question in animal personality research concerns the mechanism(s) responsible for its evolution and maintenance. Negative frequency–dependent selection is considered to be one of these important mechanisms, although evidence for this is largely absent. Here, we studied whether the feeding performance of barnacle geese was negative frequency-dependent in a producer–scrounger game. We studied the feeding time of one bold or one shy individual in groups consisting of only bold or shy companions to study if the rare type in the group performs best. A previous study with this species showed that scrounging increased with shyness. Hence, we expected shy individuals to do better in the presence of bold companions due to the increased scrounging opportunity and bold individuals to do better in the presence of shy companions as there were ample opportunities to produce food. We found no evidence for negative frequency–dependent feeding success; rather, we found that, independent of their boldness score, all individuals enjoyed higher feeding success when foraging with bold than with shy companions. The higher foraging success of individuals foraging with bold companions is explained by a higher joining proportion in the presence of bold companions. Our results provide no evidence for negative frequency– dependent feeding success in barnacle geese but indicate that both bold and shy individuals can increase their foraging returns by associating with bold individuals.
The effect of boldness on decision-making in barnacle geese is group-size-dependent
Kurvers, R.H.J.M. ; Adamczyk, M.A.P. ; Wieren, S.E. van; Prins, H.H.T. - \ 2011
Proceedings of the Royal Society. B: Biological Sciences 278 (2011)1714. - ISSN 0962-8452 - p. 2018 - 2024.
social information - 3-spined sticklebacks - influence leadership - zebra finches - personality - behavior - exploration - context - fish - organization
In group-living species, decisions made by individuals may result in collective behaviours. A central question in understanding collective behaviours is how individual variation in phenotype affects collective behaviours. However, how the personality of individuals affects collective decisions in groups remains poorly understood. Here, we investigated the role of boldness on the decision-making process in different-sized groups of barnacle geese. Naive barnacle geese, differing in boldness score, were introduced in a labyrinth in groups with either one or three informed demonstrators. The demonstrators possessed information about the route through the labyrinth. In pairs, the probability of choosing a route prior to the informed demonstrator increased with increasing boldness score: bolder individuals decided more often for themselves where to go compared with shyer individuals, whereas shyer individuals waited more often for the demonstrators to decide and followed this information. In groups of four individuals, however, there was no effect of boldness on decision-making, suggesting that individual differences were less important with increasing group size. Our experimental results show that personality is important in collective decisions in pairs of barnacle geese, and suggest that bolder individuals have a greater influence over the outcome of decisions in groups.
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