Data from: Maternal effects impact decision-making in a viviparous lizard
Munch, Kirke L. et al. (2018), Data from: Maternal effects impact decision-making in a viviparous lizard, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.01vc6
Stressful conditions experienced during early development can have deleterious effects on offspring morphology, physiology and behaviour. However, few studies have examined how developmental stress influences an individual’s cognitive phenotype. Using a viviparous lizard, we show that the availability of food resources to a mother during gestation influences a key component of her offspring’s cognitive phenotype; their decision-making. Offspring from females who experienced low resource availability during gestation did better in an anti-predatory task that relied on spatial associations to guide their decisions, whereas offspring from females who experienced high resource availability during gestation did better in a foraging task that relied on colour associations to inform their decisions. This shows that the prenatal environment can influence decision-making in animals, a cognitive trait with functional implications later in life.