The repeatability of cognitive performance:a meta-analysis

Authors Organisations
  • M. Cauchoix(Author)
    Station d’Ecologie Théorique et Expérimentale du CNRS
    Institute for Advanced Studies in Toulouse
  • P. K. Y Chow(Author)
    University of Exeter
  • J. O. van Horik(Author)
    University of Exeter
  • C. M. Atance(Author)
    University of Ottawa
  • E. J. Barbeau(Author)
    Centre de recherche Cerveau et Cognition
  • G. Barragan-Jason(Author)
    Institute for Advanced Studies in Toulouse
  • P. Bize(Author)
    University of Aberdeen
  • A. Boussard(Author)
    Stockholm University
  • S. D. Buechel(Author)
    Stockholm University
  • A. Cabirol(Author)
    Université Paul Sabatier
  • L. Cauchard(Author)
    Université de Montréal
  • N. Claidière(Author)
    Aix-Marseille University
  • Sarah Dalesman(Author)
  • J. M. Devaud(Author)
    Université Paul Sabatier
  • M. Didic(Author)
    AP-HM Timone & Institut de Neurosciences des Systèmes
  • B. Doligez(Author)
    Université Claude Bernard Lyon
  • J. Fagot(Author)
    Aix-Marseille University
  • C. Fichtel(Author)
    German Primate Center
  • J. Henke-von der Malsburg (Author)
    German Primate Center
  • E. Hermer(Author)
    University of Ottawa
  • L. Huber(Author)
    University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna
  • F. Huebner(Author)
    German Primate Center
  • P. M. Kappeler(Author)
    German Primate Center
    University of Göttingen
  • S. Klein(Author)
    Université Paul Sabatier
  • J. Langbein(Author)
    Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology
  • E. J. G. Langley(Author)
    University of Exeter
  • S. E. G. Lea(Author)
    University of Exeter
  • M. Lihoreau(Author)
    Université Paul Sabatier
  • H. Lovlie(Author)
    Linköping University
  • L. D. Matzel(Author)
    Rutgers University
  • S. Nakagawa(Author)
    University of New South Wales
  • C. Nawroth(Author)
    Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology
  • S. Oesterwind(Author)
    University of Rostock
  • B. Sauce(Author)
    Rutgers University
  • E. Smith(Author)
    University of Lincoln
  • E. Sorato(Author)
    Linköping University
  • S. Tebbich(Author)
    University of Vienna
  • L. J. Wallis(Author)
    University of Vienna
    Eötvös Loránd University
  • M. A. Whiteside(Author)
    University of Exeter
  • A. Wilkinson(Author)
    University of Lincoln
  • A. S. Chaine(Author)
    Station d’Ecologie Théorique et Expérimentale du CNRS
    Institute for Advanced Studies in Toulouse
  • J. Morand-Ferron(Author)
    University of Ottawa
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume373
Issue number1756
Early online date13 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sep 2018
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Abstract

Behavioural and cognitive processes play important roles in mediating an individual's interactions with its environment. Yet, while there is a vast literature on repeatable individual differences in behaviour, relatively little is known about the repeatability of cognitive performance. To further our understanding of the evolution of cognition, we gathered 44 studies on individual performance of 25 species across six animal classes and used meta-analysis to assess whether cognitive performance is repeatable. We compared repeatability (R) in performance (1) on the same task presented at different times (temporal repeatability), and (2) on different tasks that measured the same putative cognitive ability (contextual repeatability). We also addressed whether R estimates were influenced by seven extrinsic factors (moderators): type of cognitive performance measurement, type of cognitive task, delay between tests, origin of the subjects, experimental context, taxonomic class and publication status. We found support for both temporal and contextual repeatability of cognitive performance, with mean R estimates ranging between 0.15 and 0.28. Repeatability estimates were mostly influenced by the type of cognitive performance measures and publication status. Our findings highlight the widespread occurrence of consistent inter-individual variation in cognition across a range of taxa which, like behaviour, may be associated with fitness outcomes

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