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Motor self-regulation and self-control : a comparison of male and female impulsivity in Gallus gallus domesticus

By Larri Mohell Malinen


Personality is a topic that has been researched for a long time, however studies on non-human animals has only recently gained increased attention. In humans, impulsivity is a personality trait correlated with a wide variety of disorders. Impulsivity has also been shown to affect cognition, making it potentially having broad-ranged influences on the behavior of individuals. In this study, impulsivity was studied on white leghorn chicks (Gallus gallus domesticus) in two tests: a motor self-regulation test and a self-control test. Motor self-regulation, or the ability to inhibit motor impulses caused by external stimuli, was tested and compared between males and females. In this test there were differences between the impulsive behavior of the sexes. Self-control, or the ability to wait for a bigger, but delayed reward over a small and instant reward, was also studied. There were no sex-differences in self-control. Further, no correlation was observed between self-control and motor self-regulation. This suggest that the tests investigate different aspects of impulsivity, highlighting the complexity of impulsive behavior. Because this work was also carried out to evaluate and develop the two tests for a chicken model, I also discuss how these tests could be improved in the future

Topics: Impulsivity, personality, motor self-regulation, self-control, male, female, gallus
Publisher: Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi
Year: 2016
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