Event Title

Motivation and distraction in prey-searching behavior in Pholcid species

Mentor 1

Rafael Rogriguez

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

24-4-2015 2:30 PM

End Date

24-4-2015 3:45 PM

Description

When it comes to behavioral decision making, animals must weigh factors that increase their motivation to act with those that decrease their motivation to act. Here we study motivation and disturbance in the long-bodied cellar spider Pholcus phalangioides. First we gave spiders prey items to attack and wrap up. Then we disturbed the spiders until they abandoned their prey, and we continued disturbing them for a set amount of time afterwards (based on their randomly assigned treatment). Following the disturbance, we observed the spiders to see how long it would take for them to return to their prey. We expected spiders to be more motivated to return to larger, more valuable prey, and we expected spiders that experienced more disturbance to be less motivated to return. While some of these expectations were met, others were not. In this presentation, we discuss why some groups deviated from our expectations and what this can tell us about the evolution of evaluation, motivation and decision making.

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Apr 24th, 2:30 PM Apr 24th, 3:45 PM

Motivation and distraction in prey-searching behavior in Pholcid species

Union Wisconsin Room

When it comes to behavioral decision making, animals must weigh factors that increase their motivation to act with those that decrease their motivation to act. Here we study motivation and disturbance in the long-bodied cellar spider Pholcus phalangioides. First we gave spiders prey items to attack and wrap up. Then we disturbed the spiders until they abandoned their prey, and we continued disturbing them for a set amount of time afterwards (based on their randomly assigned treatment). Following the disturbance, we observed the spiders to see how long it would take for them to return to their prey. We expected spiders to be more motivated to return to larger, more valuable prey, and we expected spiders that experienced more disturbance to be less motivated to return. While some of these expectations were met, others were not. In this presentation, we discuss why some groups deviated from our expectations and what this can tell us about the evolution of evaluation, motivation and decision making.