History matters: the effect of different past experiences in foraging behavior

ContributorsSayin, Ozge
Number of pages43
Master program titleMaîtrise universitaire interdisciplinaire en neurosciences
Imprimatur date2024-03-19
Defense date2024-03-19

Variations in behavior between genetically identical individuals have been observed under identical environmental conditions and attributed to personality traits. However, the underlying mechanisms that shape individuality remain largely unexplored. Life history -the cumulative past experiences of individuals- in a given environment can strongly influence individuation processes. By systematically perturbing the training history of head-fixed, water-restricted mice engaged in a dynamic foraging task, we investigated how different life experiences influence behavioral phenotypes. Effects of different training histories were achieved by the comparison of two cohorts of mice in a common task which were subjected to distinct methods in the debiasing stage of our experimental paradigm: environment-based debiasing (EBD) and history-based debiasing (HBD). Different training histories evoked distinct sensitivity to reward history, decision-making strategies and choice patterns that persisted in the dynamic foraging task. Moreover, quantifying performance after probability switches, mice trained with EBD were found to be reward maximizers and adapted to the reward probability changes faster than the mice trained with HBD which were reward probability matchers. Our findings demonstrate that training history significantly shapes the behavioral outcomes in the subsequent task. The paradigm we present is designed to illustrate how varied training histories preceding a dynamic foraging task affect behavior. Our findings reveal that what might be considered personality traits in animals can significantly be shaped by their cumulative life experience underscoring the crucial role of training history in influencing behavioral phenotypes.

  • Decision-making
  • Foraging
  • Past experiences
  • Personality trait
  • Individuality
  • Training history
Citation (ISO format)
SAYIN, Ozge. History matters: the effect of different past experiences in foraging behavior. 2024.
Main files (1)
Master thesis
  • PID : unige:177348

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