Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Virkar, Pratima URN etd-06122012-040034 Title Auditory and visual determinants of maternal preference in bobwhite quail neonates Degree Master of Science Department Psychology Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Lickliter, Robert E. Committee Chair Franchina, Joseph J. Committee Member Zeskind, Philip Sanford Committee Member Keywords
- Postnatal care
Date of Defense 1988-12-15 Availability restricted AbstractImprinting studies have traditionally stressed the importance of
visual features in the formation of early postnatal attachments.
However, recent studies by Johnston & Gottlieb (1981, 1985) have
demonstrated that visually imprinted preferences can be altered by
the maternal call. Thus, in the present study the interaction between
natural visual and auditory stimulation in the control of filial behavior
was examined in bobwhite quail chicks during the first 4 days of
Previous research has revealed that bobwhite quail hatchlings
are differentially responsive to their species-specific maternal call in
the period right before and immediately following hatching (Heaton,
Miller & Goodwin, 1978). Results from this study indicate that quail
chicks begin to lose this naive preference for their maternal call over a
non-conspecific call (a domestic chicken maternal call) by 72 hrs
following hatch, and do not respond to either the bobwhite call or
chicken call by 96 hrs following hatch. However, differential
responsiveness to the bobwhite call can be reinstated in bobwhite
chicks at 72 hrs and 96 firs following hatching if the birds are provided with integrated audiovisual stimulation (i.e., a quail hen model emitting
the maternal call). These results suggest that in the initial stages of
postnatal development, species identification in bobwhite quail is based
primarily on the auditory component of maternal stimulation. Later in
development, combined auditory and visual stimulation appears
necessary to control species-specific filial behavior despite the fact that
auditory cues remain dominant over visual cues.
These findings conform well to what is known about the
neuroembryological development of sensory systems, in that the
auditory system of birds (and mammals) develops in advance of the
visual system. This prenatal sequence of sensory system development
appears to influence the sequence of early postnatal perceptual
preferences in precocial avian neonates.
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