Habituation and sensitization of aggression in bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana): Testing the dual-process theory of habituation

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Abstract

The aggressive response of male bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) habituates with repeated broadcasts of acoustic stimuli simulating a new territorial neighbor. The effects of stimulus repetition rate and stimulus intensity on bullfrog aggressive responses were tested in a field experiment designed to test the assumptions of a dual-process theory of habituation. Synthetic advertisement calls were broadcast at 2 repetition rates and 2 intensities in a factorial design. Bullfrogs were more aggressive at the higher stimulus intensity at both repetition rates. Aggressive responses habituated more slowly at the higher stimulus intensity and slower repetition rate compared with other treatments. Several biotic and abiotic factors had small or negligible effects on aggressive responses. Although consistent with the operation of 2 opposing processes, habituation and sensitization, the data provide only partial support for the assumptions of dual-process theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-316
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of comparative psychology (Washington, D.C. : 1983)
Volume115
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

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