Mechanisms and function of consistent individual behavioural variation
The study of consistent individual differences in behaviour has flourished over the last decades because it has been recognised as a major contributor to differences in survival and fitness among individuals. Individual differences in behaviour such as risk-taking, stress-coping or cognitive traits, may arise as consequences of genetic variation or environmental influences experienced early in life. Functionally, such behavioural variation is hypothesised to arise as adaptations to cope with changing environmental conditions. Here, I will present a series of experiments manipulating the environmental conditions to induce predictable long-term changes in the phenotype and investigate their adaptive potential in rodents.