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Master Thesis

Discrimination abilities of 2D pictures of congeners in rainbow trout: the use of an innovative operant conditioning device

Abstract : This study aimed to study the cognitive abilities of a species widely used by humans for food production: the rainbow trout. A better knowledge of its mental abilities could aim to better understand how this farmed animal perceives its environment and what it may experience when its welfare is compromised. To do so, an innovative operant conditioning device was designed. This one was coupled with a 2-AFC paradigm, a powerful and frequently used test for behavioural studies, to test whether this species can discriminate its conspecifics represented on 2D photographs, from different visual stimuli. We showed that rainbow trout is able to differentiate its congeners from abstract shapes or objects, which is consistent with the ecology of the species. Moreover, they managed to activate a self-feeder individually in an unknow environment, which is particularly noteworthy for a gregarious and neophobic species. As far as we know, this is the first study demonstrating such cognitive performance in rainbow trout. Further investigations will aim to highlight other, even more complex cognitive abilities (working memory, categorization abilities and concept learning). In this way, the contribution to the knowledge of the still under-documented farmed animals’ cognitive abilities will continue and will inform the societal debate concerning animal consciousness.
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Master Thesis
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https://dumas.ccsd.cnrs.fr/dumas-02642417
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 28, 2020 - 6:18:45 PM
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Aude Kleiber. Discrimination abilities of 2D pictures of congeners in rainbow trout: the use of an innovative operant conditioning device. Life Sciences [q-bio]. 2019. ⟨dumas-02642417⟩

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