Document Detail

Through their eyes: selective attention in peahens during courtship.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23885088     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Conspicuous, multicomponent ornamentation in male animals can be favored by female mate choice but we know little about the cognitive processes females use to evaluate these traits. Sexual selection may favor attention mechanisms allowing the choosing females to selectively and efficiently acquire relevant information from complex male display traits and, in turn, may favor male display traits that effectively capture and hold female attention. Using a miniaturized telemetric gaze-tracker, we show that peahens (Pavo cristatus) selectively attend to specific components of peacock courtship displays and virtually ignore other, highly conspicuous components. Females gazed at the lower train but largely ignored the head, crest and upper train. When the lower train was obscured, however, females spent more time gazing at the upper train and approached the upper train from a distance. Our results suggest that peahens mainly evaluate the lower train during close-up courtship but use the upper train as a long-distance attraction signal. Furthermore, we found that behavioral display components (train rattling and wing shaking) captured and maintained female attention, indicating that interactions between display components may promote the evolution of multicomponent displays. Taken together, these findings suggest that selective attention plays a crucial role in sexual selection and likely influences the evolution of male display traits.
Jessica L Yorzinski; Gail L Patricelli; Jason S Babcock; John M Pearson; Michael L Platt
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  216     ISSN:  1477-9145     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Exp. Biol.     Publication Date:  2013 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-07-25     Completed Date:  2014-02-12     Revised Date:  2014-08-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  3035-46     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Attention / physiology*
Birds / physiology*
Fixation, Ocular / physiology*
Reproducibility of Results
Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*
Visual Perception / physiology
Grant Support
Erratum In:
J Exp Biol. 2013 Nov 15;216(Pt 22):4310

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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