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dc.contributor.authorRiley, Julia L
dc.contributor.authorNoble, Daniel W A
dc.contributor.authorByrne, Richard William
dc.contributor.authorWhiting, Martin J
dc.identifier.citationRiley , J L , Noble , D W A , Byrne , R W & Whiting , M J 2017 , ' Does social environment influence learning ability in a family-living lizard? ' , Animal Cognition , vol. 20 , no. 3 , pp. 449-458 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 248219921
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 9476bea2-c426-4bd9-b7f1-3f2a1e575af5
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85007153015
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0001-9862-9373/work/60630513
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000399695800008
dc.descriptionFinancial support for this research was provided by the Australian Research Council (DP130102998, awarded to MJW and RWB), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (scholarship to JLR), the Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour, the Australian Museum, and Macquarie University. DWAN was supported by an ARC Discovery Early Career Research Award (DE150101774) and UNSW Vice Chancellors Fellowship.en
dc.description.abstractEarly developmental environment can have profound effects on individual physiology, behaviour, and learning. In birds and mammals social isolation during development is known to negatively affect learning ability; yet in other taxa, like reptiles, the effect of social isolation during development on learning ability is unknown. We investigated how social environment affects learning ability in the family-living tree skink (Egernia striolata). We hypothesized that early social environment shapes cognitive development in skinks, and predicted that skinks raised in social isolation would have reduced learning ability compared to skinks raised socially. Offspring were separated at birth into two treatments: (1) raised alone, or (2) in a pair. After one year we quantified spatial learning ability of skinks in these treatments (N = 14 solitary, 14 social). We found no effect of treatment on learning ability. The number of skinks to successfully learn the task, the number of trials taken to learn the task, the latency to perform the task, and the number of errors in each trial did not differ between isolated and socially-reared skinks. Our results were unexpected, yet the facultative nature of this species’ social system may result in a reduced effect of social isolation on behaviour when compared to species with obligate sociality. Overall, our findings do not provide evidence that social environment affects development of spatial learning ability in this family-living lizard.
dc.relation.ispartofAnimal Cognitionen
dc.rights© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016. 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 may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at:
dc.subjectFacultative socialityen
dc.subjectQH301 Biologyen
dc.subjectRC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatryen
dc.titleDoes social environment influence learning ability in a family-living lizard?en
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Psychology and Neuroscienceen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.Centre for Social Learning & Cognitive Evolutionen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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