Fish use colour to learn compound visual signals

Newport, Cait, Green, Naomi F., McClure, Eva C. , Osorio, Daniel C., Vorobyev, Misha, Marshall, N. Justin and Cheney, Karen L. (2017) Fish use colour to learn compound visual signals. Animal Behaviour, 125 93-100. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2017.01.003

Author Newport, Cait
Green, Naomi F.
McClure, Eva C.
Osorio, Daniel C.
Vorobyev, Misha
Marshall, N. Justin
Cheney, Karen L.
Title Fish use colour to learn compound visual signals
Journal name Animal Behaviour   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0003-3472
Publication date 2017-03-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.anbehav.2017.01.003
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 125
Start page 93
End page 100
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Colour patterns displayed by animals frequently comprise multiple elements, including hue, pattern, luminance and texture. Predators' perception of and learning about visual stimuli has important implications for the evolution of animal coloration, including aposematism and mimicry. This study investigated how a coral reef fish, the triggerfish Rhinecanthus aculeatus, learnt different elements of colour patterns. Fish trained to associate a food reward with blue, yellow and green patterns on a grey background selected novel stimuli by chromaticity, rather than pattern or luminance contrast. By comparison, when presented with small orange spots the fish appeared to learn luminance, which is consistent with findings in other animals, including bees, birds and humans, that for small objects the achromatic component of the signal is more salient than chromaticity. While internal pattern did not appear to be learnt in our first two experiments, a subsequent test showed that fish could distinguish between spotted and striped patterns over various sizes, up to the limits of their visual acuity. These results are discussed in relation to visual processing of colour patterns and the evolution of visual signals in the marine environment.
Keyword Categorization
Colour signals
Colour vision
Coral reefs
Visual acuity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Queensland Brain Institute Publications
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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