Developmental telomere attrition predicts impulsive decision-making in adult starlings

Bateson, M., Brilot, B. O., Gillespie, R., Monaghan, P. and Nettle, D. (2015) Developmental telomere attrition predicts impulsive decision-making in adult starlings. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, 282(1799), 20142140. (doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2140) (PMID:25473012) (PMCID:PMC4286045)

[img]
Preview
Text
101034.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

464kB

Abstract

Animals in a poor biological state face reduced life expectancy, and as a consequence should make decisions that prioritize immediate survival and reproduction over long-term benefits. We tested the prediction that if, as has been suggested, developmental telomere attrition is a biomarker of state and future life expectancy, then individuals who have undergone greater developmental telomere attrition should display greater choice impulsivity as adults. We measured impulsive decision-making in a cohort of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) in which we had previously manipulated developmental telomere attrition by cross-fostering sibling chicks into broods of different sizes. We show that as predicted by state-dependent optimality models, individuals who had sustained greater developmental telomere attrition and who had shorter current telomeres made more impulsive foraging decisions as adults, valuing smaller, sooner food rewards more highly than birds with less attrition and longer telomeres. Our findings shed light on the biological embedding of early adversity and support a functional explanation for its consequences that could be applicable to other species, including humans.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Monaghan, Professor Pat and Gillespie, Mr Robert
Authors: Bateson, M., Brilot, B. O., Gillespie, R., Monaghan, P., and Nettle, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:0962-8452
ISSN (Online):1471-2954
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences 282(1799:20142140
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
590411Early life adversity, telomere length and adult cognition: the starling as an experimental modelPatricia MonaghanBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/J015091/1RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED