Delay discounting task in pigs reveals response strategies related to dopamine metabolite.

Melotti, Luca; Thomsen, Liat Romme; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Mendl, Michael; Held, Suzanne (2013). Delay discounting task in pigs reveals response strategies related to dopamine metabolite. Physiology & behavior, 120, pp. 182-192. Elsevier 10.1016/j.physbeh.2013.08.009

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We developed a novel delay discounting task to investigate outcome impulsivity in pigs. As impulsivity can affect aggression, and might also relate to proactive and reactive coping styles, eight proactive (HR) and eight reactive (LR) pigs identified in a manual restraint test ("Backtest", after Bolhuis et al., 2003) were weaned and mixed in four pens of four unfamiliar pigs, so that each pen had two HR and two LR pigs, and aggression was scored in the 9h after mixing. In the delay discounting task, each pig chose between two levers, one always delivering a small immediate reward, the other a large delayed reward with daily increasing delays, impulsive individuals being the ones discounting the value of the large reward quicker. Two novel strategies emerged: some pigs gradually switched their preference towards the small reward ('Switchers') as predicted, but others persistently preferred the large reward until they stopped making choices ('Omitters'). Outcome impulsivity itself was unrelated to these strategies, to urinary serotonin metabolite (5-HIAA) or dopamine metabolite (HVA) levels, aggression at weaning, or coping style. However, HVA was relatively higher in Omitters than Switchers, and positively correlated with behavioural measures of indecisiveness and frustration during choosing. The delay discounting task thus revealed two response strategies that seemed to be related to the activity of the dopamine system and might indicate a difference in execution, rather than outcome, impulsivity.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Veterinary Public Health / Herd Health Management
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute > Animal Welfare Division
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Melotti, Luca and Toscano, Michael Jeffrey

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

0031-9384

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Susanne Portner

Date Deposited:

22 Aug 2014 11:14

Last Modified:

06 Sep 2018 13:51

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.physbeh.2013.08.009

PubMed ID:

23954408

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Aggression, Coping style, Delay discounting, Dopamine, Impulsivity

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.45796

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/45796

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