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Symmetry 2019, 11(2), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11020124

Meta-Control in Pigeons (Columba livia) and the Role of the Commissura Anterior

1
Department of Biopsychology, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology, Ruhr University Bochum, 44801 Bochum, Germany
2
Key Laboratory of Interdisciplinary Science, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Left Versus Right Asymmetries of Brain and Behaviour)
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Abstract

Meta-control describes an interhemispheric response conflict that results from the perception of stimuli that elicit a different reaction in each hemisphere. The dominant hemisphere for the perceived stimulus class often wins this competition. There is evidence from pigeons that meta-control results from interhemispheric response conflicts that prolong reaction time when the animal is confronted with conflicting information. However, recent evidence in pigeons also makes it likely that the dominant hemisphere can slow down the subdominant hemisphere, such that meta-control could instead result from the interhemispheric speed differences. Since both explanations make different predictions for the effect of commissurotomy, we tested pigeons in a meta-control task both before and after transection of the commissura anterior. This fiber pathway is the largest pallial commissura of the avian brain. The results revealed a transient phase in which meta-control possibly resulted from interhemispheric response conflicts. In subsequent sessions and after commissurotomy, however, the results suggest interhemispheric speed differences as a basis for meta-control. Furthermore, they reveal that meta-control is modified by interhemispheric transmission via the commissura anterior, although it does not seem to depend on it. View Full-Text
Keywords: birds; hemispheric interactions; brain asymmetry; reaction time; color discrimination birds; hemispheric interactions; brain asymmetry; reaction time; color discrimination
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Ünver, E.; Xiao, Q.; Güntürkün, O. Meta-Control in Pigeons (Columba livia) and the Role of the Commissura Anterior. Symmetry 2019, 11, 124.

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