[MARMAM] New publication: Visual cues do not enhance sea lion pups’ response to multimodal maternal cues

Kaja Wierucka kaja.wierucka at hdr.mq.edu.au
Mon Jul 2 00:08:53 PDT 2018

 Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to share our recent publication in Scientific Reports:

Wierucka K., Charrier I., Harcourt R., Pitcher B. J. (2018) Visual cues do
not enhance sea lion pups' response to multimodal maternal cue. Scientific
Reports 8: 9845.

Mammals use multiple sensory cues for mother-offspring recognition. While
the role of single sensory cues has been well studied, we lack information
about how multiple cues produced by mothers are integrated by their
offspring. Knowing that Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea) pups
recognise their mother’s calls, we first tested whether visual cues are
used by pups to discriminate between conspecifics of different age classes
(adult female vs pup). We then examined if adding a visual stimulus to an
acoustic cue enhances vocal responsiveness of Australian sea lion pups, by
presenting wild individuals with either a visual cue (female 3D-model), an
acoustic cue (mother’s call), or both simultaneously, and observing their
reaction. We showed that visual cues can be used by pups to distinguish
adult females from other individuals, however we found no enhancement
effect of these cues on the response in a multimodal scenario. Audio-only
cues prompted a similar reaction to audio-visual cues that was
significantly stronger than pup response to visual-only cues. Our results
suggest that visual cues are dominated by acoustic cues and that pups rely
on the latter in mother recognition.

The open-access article can be accessed at: https://rdcu.be/18E8

Best wishes,



*Kaja Wierucka*

*PhD candidate*Marine Predator Research Group
Department of Biological Sciences | Building E8A Room 385
Macquarie University
T: +61 2 9850 7975 | M: + 61 435 958 382

Equipe Communications Acoustiques
Department of Cognition & Behaviour
Institut des Neurosciences Paris Saclay (NeuroPSI), UMR 9197
Université Paris Sud, Bat.446, 91405 Orsay, FRANCE
M: +33 7 68 08 64 96
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