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Living in stable social groups is associated with reduced brain size in woodpeckers (Picidae)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

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Living in stable social groups is associated with reduced brain size in woodpeckers (Picidae). / Fedorova, Natalia; Evans, Cara L.; Byrne, Richard W.

In: Biology Letters, Vol. 13, No. 3, 08.03.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Fedorova, N, Evans, CL & Byrne, RW 2017, 'Living in stable social groups is associated with reduced brain size in woodpeckers (Picidae)' Biology Letters, vol 13, no. 3. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2017.0008

APA

Fedorova, N., Evans, C. L., & Byrne, R. W. (2017). Living in stable social groups is associated with reduced brain size in woodpeckers (Picidae). Biology Letters, 13(3). DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2017.0008

Vancouver

Fedorova N, Evans CL, Byrne RW. Living in stable social groups is associated with reduced brain size in woodpeckers (Picidae). Biology Letters. 2017 Mar 8;13(3). Available from, DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2017.0008

Author

Fedorova, Natalia; Evans, Cara L.; Byrne, Richard W. / Living in stable social groups is associated with reduced brain size in woodpeckers (Picidae).

In: Biology Letters, Vol. 13, No. 3, 08.03.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bibtex - Download

@article{64d2d5addeff45538fbcd73b2e4b19f5,
title = "Living in stable social groups is associated with reduced brain size in woodpeckers (Picidae)",
abstract = "Group size predicts brain size in primates and some other mammal groups, but no such relationship has been found in birds. Instead, stable pair-bonding and bi-parental care have been identified as correlates of larger brains in birds. We investigated the relationship between brain size and social system within the family Picidae, using phylogenetically controlled regression analysis. We found no specific effect of duration or strength of pair bonds, but brain sizes were systematically smaller in species living in long-lasting social groups of larger sizes. Group living may only present a cognitive challenge in groups in which members have individually competitive relationships; we therefore propose that groups functioning for cooperative benefit may allow disinvestment in expensive brain tissue.",
keywords = "Social intelligence theory, Social complexity, Group size, Brain evolution",
author = "Natalia Fedorova and Evans, {Cara L.} and Byrne, {Richard W.}",
note = "NF was supported by University of St Andrews undergraduate research assistantship program, and CLE was supported by a BBSRC studentship.",
year = "2017",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1098/rsbl.2017.0008",
volume = "13",
journal = "Biology Letters",
issn = "1744-9561",
publisher = "ROYAL SOC",
number = "3",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Living in stable social groups is associated with reduced brain size in woodpeckers (Picidae)

AU - Fedorova,Natalia

AU - Evans,Cara L.

AU - Byrne,Richard W.

N1 - NF was supported by University of St Andrews undergraduate research assistantship program, and CLE was supported by a BBSRC studentship.

PY - 2017/3/8

Y1 - 2017/3/8

N2 - Group size predicts brain size in primates and some other mammal groups, but no such relationship has been found in birds. Instead, stable pair-bonding and bi-parental care have been identified as correlates of larger brains in birds. We investigated the relationship between brain size and social system within the family Picidae, using phylogenetically controlled regression analysis. We found no specific effect of duration or strength of pair bonds, but brain sizes were systematically smaller in species living in long-lasting social groups of larger sizes. Group living may only present a cognitive challenge in groups in which members have individually competitive relationships; we therefore propose that groups functioning for cooperative benefit may allow disinvestment in expensive brain tissue.

AB - Group size predicts brain size in primates and some other mammal groups, but no such relationship has been found in birds. Instead, stable pair-bonding and bi-parental care have been identified as correlates of larger brains in birds. We investigated the relationship between brain size and social system within the family Picidae, using phylogenetically controlled regression analysis. We found no specific effect of duration or strength of pair bonds, but brain sizes were systematically smaller in species living in long-lasting social groups of larger sizes. Group living may only present a cognitive challenge in groups in which members have individually competitive relationships; we therefore propose that groups functioning for cooperative benefit may allow disinvestment in expensive brain tissue.

KW - Social intelligence theory

KW - Social complexity

KW - Group size

KW - Brain evolution

UR - http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/13/3/20170008.article-info

U2 - 10.1098/rsbl.2017.0008

DO - 10.1098/rsbl.2017.0008

M3 - Article

VL - 13

JO - Biology Letters

T2 - Biology Letters

JF - Biology Letters

SN - 1744-9561

IS - 3

ER -

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