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Original Paper

Microhabitat Use Affects Brain Size and Structure in Intertidal Gobies

White G.E. · Brown C.

Author affiliations

Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, N.S.W., Australia

Related Articles for ""

Brain Behav Evol 2015;85:107-116

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: February 10, 2014
Accepted: February 09, 2015
Published online: April 21, 2015
Issue release date: May 2015

Number of Print Pages: 10
Number of Figures: 4
Number of Tables: 1

ISSN: 0006-8977 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9743 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/BBE

Abstract

The ecological cognition hypothesis poses that the brains and behaviours of individuals are largely shaped by the environments in which they live and the associated challenges they must overcome during their lives. Here we examine the effect of environmental complexity on relative brain size in 4 species of intertidal gobies from differing habitats. Two species were rock pool specialists that lived on spatially complex rocky shores, while the remainder lived on dynamic, but structurally simple, sandy shores. We found that rock pool-dwelling species had relatively larger brains and telencephalons in particular, while sand-dwelling species had a larger optic tectum and hypothalamus. In general, it appears that various fish species trade off neural investment in specific brain lobes depending on the environment in which they live. Our previous research suggests that rock pool species have greater spatial learning abilities, enabling them to navigate their spatially complex environment, which may account for their enlarged telencephalon, while sand-dwelling species likely have a reduced need for spatial learning, due to their spatially simple habitat, and a greater need for visual acuity. The dorsal medulla and cerebellum size was unaffected by the habitat in which the fish lived, but there were differences between species indicative of species-specific trade-offs in neural investment.

© 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: February 10, 2014
Accepted: February 09, 2015
Published online: April 21, 2015
Issue release date: May 2015

Number of Print Pages: 10
Number of Figures: 4
Number of Tables: 1

ISSN: 0006-8977 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9743 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/BBE


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