The use of robotics to establish social interactions between animals and robots, represents an elegant and innovative method to investigate animal behaviour. However, robots are still underused to investigate high complex and flexible behaviours, such as aggression. Here, Betta splendens was tested as model system to shed light on the effect of a robotic fish eliciting aggression. We evaluated how multiple signal systems, including a light stimulus, affect aggressive responses in B. splendens. Furthermore, we conducted experiments to estimate if aggressive responses were triggered by the biomimetic shape of fish replica, or whether any intruder object was effective as well. Male fishes showed longer and higher aggressive displays as puzzled stimuli from the fish replica increased. When the fish replica emitted its full sequence of cues, the intensity of aggression exceeded even that produced by real fish opponents. Fish replica shape was necessary for conspecific opponent perception, evoking significant aggressive responses. Overall, this study highlights that the efficacy of an artificial opponent eliciting aggressive behaviour in fish can be boosted by exposure to multiple signals. Optimizing the cue combination delivered by the robotic fish replica may be helpful to predict escalating levels of aggression.

Multiple cues produced by a robotic fish modulate aggressive behaviour in Siamese fighting fishes

BENELLI, GIOVANNI;REMORINI, DAMIANO;CANALE, ANGELO;
2017

Abstract

The use of robotics to establish social interactions between animals and robots, represents an elegant and innovative method to investigate animal behaviour. However, robots are still underused to investigate high complex and flexible behaviours, such as aggression. Here, Betta splendens was tested as model system to shed light on the effect of a robotic fish eliciting aggression. We evaluated how multiple signal systems, including a light stimulus, affect aggressive responses in B. splendens. Furthermore, we conducted experiments to estimate if aggressive responses were triggered by the biomimetic shape of fish replica, or whether any intruder object was effective as well. Male fishes showed longer and higher aggressive displays as puzzled stimuli from the fish replica increased. When the fish replica emitted its full sequence of cues, the intensity of aggression exceeded even that produced by real fish opponents. Fish replica shape was necessary for conspecific opponent perception, evoking significant aggressive responses. Overall, this study highlights that the efficacy of an artificial opponent eliciting aggressive behaviour in fish can be boosted by exposure to multiple signals. Optimizing the cue combination delivered by the robotic fish replica may be helpful to predict escalating levels of aggression.
Romano, Donato; Benelli, Giovanni; Donati, Elisa; Remorini, Damiano; Canale, Angelo; Stefanini, Cesare
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/867378
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