Exploration of a novel space is associated with individual differences in learning speed in black-capped chickadees, Poecile atricapillus
Journal club (BE Forum) on Guilette et al. (2009) Behav. Proc. 82 265-270
Abstract: Individual variation in exploratory behaviour has been demonstrated in a diverse array of animal species. Understanding the evolutionary antecedents and ecological consequences of this variation is an active research area within animal behaviour. Herewe investigatewhether different exploration styles exhibited by black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) in a novel environment are related to how quickly these birds learn an acoustic discrimination task. We found that birds that readily enter a novel environment learn an acoustic discrimination task faster than birds that do not readily enter a novel environment. This result contrasts with previous work suggesting no correlation between exploration style and learning a spatial or associative task in great tits (Parus major), a close relative of the black-capped chickadee.