Animal Cognition

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 128–132 | Cite as

Visual discrimination of normal and drug induced behavior in quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica)

  • Yumiko YamazakiEmail author
  • Naomi Shinohara
  • Shigeru Watanabe
Short Communication


The ability to discriminate the physical states of others could be an adaptive behavior, especially for social animals. For example, the ability to discriminate illness behavior would be helpful for avoiding spoiled foods. We report on an experiment with Japanese quails testing whether these birds can discriminate the physical states of conspecifics. The quails were trained to discriminate between moving video images of quails injected with psychoactive drugs and those in a normal (not injected) condition. Methamphetamine (stimulant) or ketamine (anesthetic) were used to produce drug-induced behaviors in conspecifics. The former induced hyperactive behavior and the latter hypoactive behavior. The subject quails could learn the discrimination and showed generalization to novel images of the drug-induced behaviors. They did not, however, show discriminative behavior according to the type and dosage of the drugs. Thus, they categorized the behavior not on the basis of degree of activity, but on the basis of abnormality.


Discrimination Drug-induced behavior Ketamine Methamphetamine Quails 



This research was conducted in compliance with The Guidelines for Animal Experimentation (Japanese Association for Laboratory Animal Science, 1987).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yumiko Yamazaki
    • 1
    Email author
  • Naomi Shinohara
    • 2
  • Shigeru Watanabe
    • 3
  1. 1.Biopsychologie, Institut für Kognitive Neurowissenschaft, Fakultät für PsychologieRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany
  2. 2.Department of MedicineTokai University, School of MedicineKanagawa 259–1193Japan
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyKeio UniversityMinato-ku, Tokyo 108-8345Japan

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