The Disassociation of Visual and Acoustic Conspecific Cues Decreases Discrimination by Female Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

Dana L.M. Campbell, Mark Erno Hauber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) use visual and acoustic traits for accurate recognition of male conspecifics. Evidence from video playbacks confirms that both sensory modalities are important for conspecific and species discrimination, but experimental evidence of the individual roles of these cue types affecting live conspecific recognition is limited. In a spatial paradigm to test discrimination, the authors used live male zebra finch stimuli of 2 color morphs, wild-type (conspecific) and white with a painted black beak (foreign), producing 1 of 2 vocalization types: songs and calls learned from zebra finch parents (conspecific) or cross-fostered songs and calls learned from Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata vars. domestica) foster parents (foreign). The authors found that female zebra finches consistently preferred males with conspecific visual and acoustic cues over males with foreign cues, but did not discriminate when the conspecific and foreign visual and acoustic cues were mismatched. These results indicate the importance of both visual and acoustic features for female zebra finches when discriminating between live conspecific males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-315
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Comparative Psychology
Volume123
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • conspecific discrimination
  • model system
  • recognition cues
  • zebra finches

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)

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