Context-dependent prey avoidance in chicks persists following complete telencephalectomy

Gergely Zachar, Aniko Schrott, Péter Kabai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Young naïve domestic chicks readily attack green insects and avoid insects painted red but show no discrimination of the same colours when applied to fruit-like objects, a discrimination that has been depicted as context-dependent preference. To study the neural representation of such preference we performed bilateral telencephalectomy on 1-day-old domestic chicks and tested them on an unlearned prey discrimination paradigm. Here we show that following complete decerebration, young domestic chicks preferentially peck at red fruit versus red insects and tend to choose green insects over green fruit indistinguishably from unoperated chicks. The present study provides the first direct evidence that sophisticated context-dependent, unlearned colour preference is processed by subtelencephalic areas of an amniote species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-292
Number of pages4
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2008


  • Aposematic
  • Colour
  • Preference
  • Shape
  • Unconditional
  • Visual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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