Putty-nosed monkeys, Cercopithecus nictitans stampflii, occur at various sites in West Africa, particularly in the transition zone between rainforest and savannah. The species is sometimes seen in primary rainforest, although at a curiously low density compared with that of other monkey species. We conducted a 24-month field study in the tropical rainforest of Tai National Park, Ivory Coast, and found that putty-nosed monkeys require an ecological niche almost identical to that of the Diana monkeys, Cercopithecus diana diana. Moreover, the niche breadth of putty-nosed monkeys was significantly decreased in the presence of Diana monkeys, suggesting that feeding competition with Diana monkeys kept putty-nosed monkeys from successfully colonizing a rainforest habitat. However, contrary to the interspecies competition hypothesis, groups of both species almost completely overlapped in home ranges and formed near-permanent mixed-species associations, rather than avoiding each other. We hypothesized that Diana monkeys tolerated immigrating putty-nosed monkeys and formed mixed-species groups with them, despite high levels of competition, because of their merit in predation defense. Direct observations and a series of field experiments confirmed that male putty-nosed monkeys play a vital role in defense against crowned eagles, suggesting that putty-nosed monkeys obtain access to feeding trees by offering antipredation benefits to Diana monkeys. We discuss these findings in light of biological market theory.
We present a technique for automatically assigning a neuroanatomical label to each location on a cortical surface model based on probabilistic information estimated from a manually labeled training set. This procedure incorporates both geometric information derived from the cortical model, and neuroanatomical convention, as found in the training set. The result is a complete labeling of cortical sulci and gyri. Examples are given from two different training sets generated using different neuroanatomical conventions, illustrating the flexibility of the algorithm. The technique is shown to be comparable in accuracy to manual labeling.
Animal communication often occurs in communication networks in which multiple signalers and receivers are within signaling range of each other. In such networks, individuals can obtain information on the quality and motivation of territorial neighbors by eavesdropping on their signaling interactions. In songbirds, extracting information from interactions involving neighbors is thought to be an important factor in the evolution of strategies of territory defense. In a playback experiment with radio-tagged nightingales Luscinia megarhynchos we here demonstrate that territorial males use their familiar neighbors' performance in a vocal interaction with an unfamiliar intruder as a standard for their own response. Males were attracted by a vocal interaction between their neighbor and a simulated stranger and intruded into the neighbor's territory. The more intensely the neighbor had interacted with playback, the earlier the intrusions were made, indicating that males eavesdropped on the vocal contest involving a neighbor. However, males never intruded when we had simulated by a second playback that the intruder had retreated and sang outside the neighbor's territory. These results suggest that territorial males use their neighbors' singing behavior as an early warning system when territorial integrity is threatened. Simultaneous responses by neighboring males towards unfamiliar rivals are likely to be beneficial to the individuals in maintaining territorial integrity.
The thickness of the cerebral cortex was measured in 106 non-demented participants ranging in age from 18 to 93 years. For each participant, multiple acquisitions of structural T-1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were averaged to yield high-resolution, high-contrast data sets. Cortical thickness was estimated as the distance between the gray/white boundary and the outer cortical surface, resulting in a continuous estimate across the cortical mantle. Global thinning was apparent by middle age. Men and women showed a similar degree of global thinning, and did not differ in mean thickness in the younger or older groups. Age-associated differences were widespread but demonstrated a patchwork of regional atrophy and sparing. Examination of subsets of the data from independent samples produced highly similar age-associated patterns of atrophy, suggesting that the specific anatomic patterns within the maps were reliable. Certain results, including prominent atrophy of prefrontal cortex and relative sparing of temporal and parahippocampal cortex, converged with previous findings. Other results were unexpected, such as the finding of prominent atrophy in frontal cortex near primary motor cortex and calcarine cortex near primary visual cortex. These findings demonstrate that cortical thinning occurs by middle age and spans widespread cortical regions that include primary as well as association cortex.
Cooperatively breeding groups include individuals that give up some current reproductive opportunities while remaining in a group. In some cases, these individuals are physiologically or morphologically unable to reproduce. Empirical and theoretical evidence suggest that this inability often does not result from stress or manipulation by dominants against the interests of subordinates. I argue that such reproductive inhibition can represent a commitment not to reproduce in exchange for a reduction in costs imposed by dominants. I present a model that allows subordinates to choose whether to inhibit their own reproduction ("self-inhibition") and accept no direct reproduction while in the group or to remain flexible and attempt to take a share of group productivity. If dominants assess the reproductive status of subordinates and punish those that reproduce, this model predicts self-inhibition when group members are closely related, opportunities for independent breeding are poor, assessment of reproductive status and eviction are costly, and the chance of being detected when cheating is high. However, dominants are less likely to assess the reproductive status of subordinates that are closely related, resulting in a narrow window of relatedness in which self-inhibition is favored. Counterintuitively, this window is wider when flexible subordinates would be able to take a large share of group production. Although the model assumes that dominants are able to reliably detect commitment, it is generally robust against mistakes in the form of dominants failing to assess uncommitted subordinates, or even low frequencies of deception by flexible subordinates.
Sperm competition occurs when sperm of two or more males compete to fertilize a given set of eggs. Theories on sperm competition expect males under high risk of sperm competition to increase ejaculate size. Here we confirm this prediction experimentally in the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). In this species, sneaking (i.e., stealing of fertilizations by neighboring males) can lead to sperm competition. Sneaking males invade foreign nests, and the owners vigorously try to prevent this intrusion. In such fights, male body size is assumed to be an important predictor of success. Consequently, the risk of sperm competition may depend on the size of a potential competitor. We experimentally confronted males before spawning with either a large or a small computer-animated rival. We show that males ejaculated significantly more sperm after the presentation of the larger virtual rival than after the small stimulus. In addition, the time between the initiation of courting and the spawning was shorter in the large virtual male treatment. The results suggest that stickleback males tailor ejaculate size relative to the risk of sperm competition perceived by the size of a potential competitor.
Ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMF) damage can lead to impaired decision-making. This has been studied most intensively with the Iowa gambling task (IGT), a card game that asks subjects to overcome an initial attraction to high-payoff decks as losses begin to accrue. VMF subjects choose from the high risk decks more often than controls, but the fundamental impairments driving poor performance on this complex task have yet to be established. There is also conflicting evidence regarding the role of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLF) in this task. The present study examined whether poor performance on the IGT was specific for VMF damage and whether fundamental impairments in reversal learning contributed to IGT performance. We found that both VMF and DLF damage leads to impaired IGT performance. The impairment of VMF subjects, but not of DLF subjects, seems to be largely explained by an underlying reversal learning deficit.
The occurrence in nature of erythrocyte-agglutinating proteins has been known since the turn of the 19th century. By the 1960s it became apparent that such proteins also agglutinate other types of cells, and that many of them are sugar-specific. These cell-agglutinating and sugar-specific proteins have been named lectins. Although shown to occur widely in plants and to some extent also in invertebrates, very few lectins had been isolated until the early 1970s, and they had attracted little attention. This attitude changed with the demonstration that lectins are extremely useful tools for the investigation of carbohydrates on cell surfaces, in particular of the changes that the latter undergo in malignancy, as well as for the isolation and characterization of glycoproteins. In subsequent years numerous lectins have been isolated from plants as well as from microorganisms and animals, and during the past two decades the structures of hundreds of them have been established. Concurrently, it was shown that lectins function as recognition molecules in cell-molecule and cell-cell interactions in a variety of biological systems. Here we present a brief account of 100-plus years of lectin research and show how these proteins have become the focus of intense interest for biologists and in particular for the glycobiologists among them.
Determining the relationship between mechanisms involved in action planning and/or execution is critical to understanding the neural bases of skilled behaviors, including tool use. Here we report findings from two fMRI studies of healthy, right-handed adults in which an event-related design was used to distinguish regions involved in planning (i.e. identifying, retrieving and preparing actions associated with a familiar tools' uses) versus executing tool use gestures with the dominant right (experiment 1) and non-dominant left (experiment 2) hands. For either limb, planning tool use actions activates a distributed network in the left cerebral hemisphere consisting of: (i) posterior superior temporal sulcus, along with proximal regions of the middle and superior temporal gyri; (ii) inferior frontal and ventral premotor cortices; (iii) two distinct parietal areas, one located in the anterior supramarginal gyrus (SMG) and another in posterior SMG and angular gyrus; and (iv) dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLFPC). With the exception of left DLFPC, adjacent and partially overlapping sub-regions of left parietal, frontal and temporal cortex are also engaged during action execution. We suggest that this left lateralized network constitutes a neural substrate for the interaction of semantic and motoric representations upon which meaningful skills depend.