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dc.contributor.authorWebster, Mike M.
dc.contributor.authorWhalen, Andrew Carl Zanton
dc.contributor.authorLaland, Kevin Neville
dc.identifier.citationWebster , M M , Whalen , A C Z & Laland , K N 2017 , ' Fish pool their experience to solve problems collectively ' , Nature Ecology and Evolution , vol. 1 , 0135 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 249731204
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 9ce527cf-aaf5-410b-83ed-3e2757aa2d29
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85029879794
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0001-9597-6871/work/60427801
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0002-2457-0900/work/60630333
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000417173100023
dc.descriptionThis work was funded by an ERC Advanced grant to KNL (EVOCULTURE, Ref: 232823)en
dc.description.abstractAccess to information is a key advantage of grouping. Although experienced animals can lead others to solve problems, less is known about whether partially informed individuals can pool experiences to overcome challenges collectively. Here we provide evidence of such ‘experience-pooling’. We presented shoals of sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) with a two-stage foraging task requiring them to find and access hidden food. Individual fish were either inexperienced or had knowledge of just one of the stages. Shoals containing individuals trained in each of the stages pooled their expertise, allowing more fish to access the food, and to do so more rapidly, compared with other shoal compositions. Strong social effects were identified: the presence of experienced individuals increased the likelihood of untrained fish completing each stage. These findings demonstrate that animal groups can integrate individual experience to solve multi-stage problems, and have implications for our understanding of social foraging, migration and social systems.
dc.relation.ispartofNature Ecology and Evolutionen
dc.rightsCopyright © 2017 the Authors. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created accepted version manuscript following peer review and as such may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at:
dc.subjectQH301 Biologyen
dc.titleFish pool their experience to solve problems collectivelyen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.sponsorEuropean Research Councilen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Centre for Biological Diversityen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Centre for Social Learning & Cognitive Evolutionen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Biologyen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Scottish Oceans Instituteen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Institute of Behavioural and Neural Sciencesen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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