Part of Jagiellonian University in Kraków
Part of Jagiellonian University in Kraków

Our new paper titled "Geometry-based navigation in the dark: Layout symmetry facilitates spatial learning in the house cricket, Acheta domesticus, in the absence of visual cues" is out in Animal Cognition, one of the best journals publishing research in the scope of comparative psychology and cognitive processing of non-human animals.

Abstract: The capacity to navigate by layout geometry has been widely recognized as a robust strategy of place-finding. It has been reported in various species, although most studies were performed with vision-based paradigms. In the presented study, we aimed to investigate layout symmetry-based navigation in the house cricket, Acheta domesticus, in the absence of visual cues. For this purpose, we used a non-visual paradigm modeled on the Tennessee Williams setup. We ensured that the visual cues were indeed inaccessible to insects. In the main experiment, we tested whether crickets are capable of learning to localize the centrally positioned, inconspicuous cool spot in heated arenas of various shapes (i.e., circular, square, triangular, and asymmetric quadrilateral). We found that the symmetry of the arena significantly facilitates crickets’ learning to find the cool spot, indicated by the increased time spent on the cool spot and the decreased latency in locating it in subsequent trials. To investigate mechanisms utilized by crickets, we analyzed their approach paths to the spot. We found that crickets used both heuristic and directed strategies of approaching the target, with the dominance of a semi-directed strategy (i.e., a thigmot- actic phase preceding direct navigation to the target). We propose that the poor performance of crickets in the asymmetrical quadrilateral arena may be explained by the difficulty of encoding its layout with cues from a single modality

Our new paper is available in open access mode:

Baran, B., Krzyżowski, M., Rádai, Z., Francikowski, J., & Hohol, M. (2022). Geometry-based navigation in the dark: Layout symmetry facilitates spatial learning in the house cricket, Acheta domesticus, in the absence of visual cues. Animal Cognition.

Also, we shared open science materials through Open Science Framework.

Our new paper on the relationship between finger counting routines and SNARC effect is out in Acta Psychologica. In a nutshell:

Our new paper is available in open access mode:

Hohol, M., Wołoszyn, K., & Cipora, K. (2022). No fingers, no SNARC? Neither the finger counting starting hand, nor its stability robustly affect the SNARC effect. Acta Psychologica, 230, 103765.

Additionally, we published a related popular science content in Tygodnik Powszechny (in Polish; sorry for a paywall):

Hohol, M., Wołoszyn-Hohol, K. (2022). Kryzys ucieleśnienia. Tygodnik Powszechny, 36(3817), 64-68.

We are pleased to announce that the first competition for doctoral students within the project "Cognitive artifacts on various time scales: An integrative approach grant" (National Science Centre, Poland, OPUS, 2021/43/B/HS1/02868) is concluded.

Piotr Szymanek MSc will receive the scholarship for 30 months. Two young researchers took part in the competition. Piotr Szymanek received 10 points, and the second person 7 points.

Piotr Szymanek is an author of a paper published in the prestigious journal Consciousness and Cognition. Recently he completed a traineeship in LEVYNA Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion, Masaryk University, Brno.

On behalf of scholarship comission (prof. Bartosz Brożek, dr. Jędrzej Grodniewicz, prof. Mateusz Hohol)

Mateusz Hohol, PI

A paper on 'Motivational trade-offs and modulation of nociception in bumblebees' by Professor Lars Chittka's team, co-authored by Bartosz Baran, who is a member of our Lab is out in one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world: Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).

Full paper is available here:

Gibbons, M., Versace, E., Crump, A., Baran, B., & Chittka, L. (2022). Motivational trade-offs and modulation of nociception in bumblebees. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences119(31), e2205821119.

Related popular science papers are also available:

Science: Bees may feel pain by Virginia Morell

Tygodnik Powszechny (in Polish): Ból bzyczenia: Trzmiele czują ból by Bartosz Baran

Mateusz Hohol, the PI of MCLL, was a guest of Radio Kraków in in Ewa Szkurlat's broadcast. He talked about math anxiety, dyscalculia, and scientific efforts aiming to understand them and improve learning mathematics. He also outlined both proximal and distal research plans of the Lab. A broadcast preview is available here (in Polish).

A contract with the National Science Center for a project granted to prof. Mateusz Hohol (PI) has been signed. The grant is entitled "Cognitive artifacts on various time scales: An integrative approach" and will be implemented for 36 months at the Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of the Jagiellonian University under the auspices of the MCLL. Open calls for co-investigators will be announced in July and August 2022. More information about this research grant can be found in the Projects section.

Mathematical Cognition and Learning Lab
MCLL is funded by the Excellence Initiative – Jagiellonian University within the Priority Research Area Society of the Future
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