What do we know about how Bats Think?

Report
DO BATS SEE
THEMSELVES IN THE
MIRROR?
J e n n i f e r Vo n k
Oakland University
SELF-AWARENESS
Do non-humans exhibit the capacity for self
awareness?
 Typically measured via:
 Meta-cognition
 Mirror mark test
MSR STUDIES
WHY ARE BATS INTERESTING?
 Complex social structure
 Variability in social groups, diet, and physiology
 Diet:
 Fruit, animal blood, insects
 Unique traits, such as echolocation
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT HOW BATS
THINK?
 Social Learning
 Catching prey
 Vocal association to prey
 Food preferences
 Co-operation
 Spatial Memory
 Spatial locations vs. shapes
 Poor Object Discrimination
 Individual Recognition
 Individual calls
 Reciprocal Altruism
 Recognize defectors
and cooperators
DO BATS HAVE SELF -AWARENESS?
 MSR Test
 Exposed to mirror and non -reflective “sham” mirror
 Mark test
SUBJECTS
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19 bats of 6 dif ferent species:
Vampire bats (3)
Straw colored fruit bats ( 6)
Malayan flying foxes (2)
Jamaican fruit bats ( 3)
Egyptian fruit bats ( 3)
Rodriguez fruit bat ( 1)
PROCEDURE
 Phase 1 – Habituation
 Phase 2 – Novelty Control: Familiarization to sham mirror
 Phase 3 – Mirror Baseline: Familiarization to mirror without
mark (2 sessions).
 Phase 4 – Mark Test
 Baseline with ear mark – no mirror
 Mirror and an unfamiliar bat plus ear mark
 Phase 5 –Fur ther Mark Tests
 Mirror or sham mirror with mark (4 sessions each randomly
determined in blocks of 4).
 Phase 6 – Par tner Tests
 With familiar bat and - both marked (2 sessions) – sham and mirror
(counterbalanced side).
MEASURED
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Time spent
Looking time
Grooming
Touches to Mirror
LIMITATIONS
 Questions about vision
 Prior exposure to transparent enclosures and mirrors
 Use of mirror to search for hidden items?
 Monitor echolocation

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