Most of the investigations to date on tight-binding, quantum percolation models focused on the quantum percolation threshold, i.e., the analog to the Anderson transition. It appears to occur if roughly 30% of the hopping terms are actually present. Thus, models in the delocalized regime may still be substantially disordered, hence analyzing their transport properties is a nontrivial task which we pursue in the paper at hand. Using a method based on quantum typicality to numerically perform linear response theory we find that conductivity and mean free paths are in good accord with results from very simple heuristic considerations. Furthermore we find that depending on the percentage of actually present hopping terms, the transport properties may or may not be described by a Drude model. An investigation of the Einstein relation is also presented.
Mouse lemurs are suggested to represent promising novel non-human primate models for aging research. However, standardized and cross-taxa cognitive testing methods are still lacking. Touchscreen-based testing procedures have proven high stimulus control and reliability in humans and rodents. The aim of this study was to adapt these procedures to mouse lemurs, thereby exploring the effect of age. We measured appetitive learning and cognitive flexibility of two age groups by applying pairwise visual discrimination (PD) and reversal learning (PDR) tasks. On average, mouse lemurs needed 24 days of training before starting with the PD task. Individual performances in PD and PDR tasks correlate significantly, suggesting that individual learning performance is unrelated to the respective task. Compared to the young, aged mouse lemurs showed impairments in both PD and PDR tasks. They needed significantly more trials to reach the task criteria. A much higher inter-individual variation in old than in young adults was revealed. Furthermore, in the PDR task, we found a significantly higher perseverance in aged compared to young adults, indicating an age-related deficit in cognitive flexibility. This study presents the first touchscreen-based data on the cognitive skills and age-related dysfunction in mouse lemurs and provides a unique basis to study mechanisms of inter-individual variation. It furthermore opens exciting perspectives for comparative approaches in aging, personality, and evolutionary research.
In the 1970s, Tavolga conducted a series of experiments in which he found behavioral evidence that the vocalizations of the catfish species Ariopsis felis may play a role in a coarse form of echolocation. Based on his findings, he postulated a similar function for the calls of closely related catfish species. Here, we describe the physical characteristics of the predominant call-type of Ariopsis seemanni. In two behavioral experiments, we further explore whether A. seemanni uses these calls for acoustic obstacle detection by testing the hypothesis that the call-emission rate of individual fish should increase when subjects are confronted with novel objects, as it is known from other vertebrate species that use pulse-type signals to actively probe the environment. Audio-video monitoring of the fish under different obstacle conditions did not reveal a systematic increase in the number of emitted calls in the presence of novel objects or in dependence on the proximity between individual fish and different objects. These negative findings in combination with our current understanding of directional hearing in fishes (which is a prerequisite for acoustic obstacle detection) make it highly unlikely that A. seemanni uses its calls for acoustic obstacle detection. We argue that the calls are more likely to play a role in intra- or interspecific communication (e.g. in school formation or predator deterrence) and present results from a preliminary Y-maze experiment that are indicative for a positive phonotaxis of A. seemanni towards the calls of conspecifics.
Sex-specific differences in orientation strategies are well known for several rodent and primate species with females relying more on landmarks when it comes to visually guided orientation, whereas males preferentially use Euclidean cues. We used the echolocating bat Phyllostomus discolor for a behavioural study on gender differences in the use of acoustic landmarks. The experimental animals (6 males, 6 females) had to learn and perform a simple orientational task, firstly in the absence of landmarks and subsequently in the presence of four acoustic landmarks of which one was occasionally removed during the critical experiment. The results presented here show that gender differences in the use of acoustic landmarks exist in P. discolor, which supports our hypothesis that the phenomenon is independent of the modality that is used to sense the environment during orientation. Therefore, our findings allow for the prediction of similar phenomena in other acoustically orienting mammals. Interestingly, due to the specific ecology of P. discolor, our results partially contradict the evolutionary theories on gender-specific orientation, as will be discussed. Finally, we consider our finding as being one of several important steps toward establishing bats as a new model organism in neuroscientific studies on allocentric spatial cognition in mammals.
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