Rats exhibit similar biases in foraging and intertemporal choice tasks
Animals, including humans, consistently exhibit myopia in two different contexts: foraging, in which they harvest locally beyond what is predicted by optimal foraging theory, and intertemporal choice, in which they exhibit a preference for immediate vs. delayed rewards beyond what is predicted by rational (exponential) discounting. Despite the similarity in behavior between these two contexts, previous efforts to reconcile these observations in terms of a consistent pattern of time preferences have failed. Here, via extensive behavioral testing and quantitative modeling, we show that rats exhibit similar time preferences in both contexts: they prefer immediate vs. delayed rewards and they are sensitive to opportunity costs of delays to future decisions. Further, a quasi-hyperbolic discounting model, a form of hyperbolic discounting with separate components for short- and long-term rewards, explains individual rats' time preferences across both contexts, providing evidence for a common mechanism for myopic behavior in foraging and intertemporal choice.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
Article and author information
National Institute of Mental Health (F31MH109286)
- Gary A Kane
- Jonathan D Cohen
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All procedures were approved by the Princeton University (Protocol 1969) and Rutgers University (Protocol 14-075) Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees.
- Geoffrey Schoenbaum, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, United States
- Received: May 14, 2019
- Accepted: September 17, 2019
- Accepted Manuscript published: September 18, 2019 (version 1)
- Version of Record published: October 15, 2019 (version 2)
© 2019, Kane et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
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- Computational and Systems Biology
- Epidemiology and Global Health
Background: While biological age in adults is often understood as representing general health and resilience, the conceptual interpretation of accelerated biological age in children and its relationship to development remains unclear. We aimed to clarify the relationship of accelerated biological age, assessed through two established biological age indicators, telomere length and DNA methylation age, and two novel candidate biological age indicators , to child developmental outcomes, including growth and adiposity, cognition, behaviour, lung function and onset of puberty, among European school-age children participating in the HELIX exposome cohort.
Methods: The study population included up to 1,173 children, aged between 5 and 12 years, from study centres in the UK, France, Spain, Norway, Lithuania, and Greece. Telomere length was measured through qPCR, blood DNA methylation and gene expression was measured using microarray, and proteins and metabolites were measured by a range of targeted assays. DNA methylation age was assessed using Horvath's skin and blood clock, while novel blood transcriptome and 'immunometabolic' (based on plasma protein and urinary and serum metabolite data) clocks were derived and tested in a subset of children assessed six months after the main follow-up visit. Associations between biological age indicators with child developmental measures as well as health risk factors were estimated using linear regression, adjusted for chronological age, sex, ethnicity and study centre. The clock derived markers were expressed as Δ age (i.e., predicted minus chronological age).
Results: Transcriptome and immunometabolic clocks predicted chronological age well in the test set (r= 0.93 and r= 0.84 respectively). Generally, weak correlations were observed, after adjustment for chronological age, between the biological age indicators. Among associations with health risk factors, higher birthweight was associated with greater immunometabolic Δ age, smoke exposure with greater DNA methylation Δ age and high family affluence with longer telomere length. Among associations with child developmental measures, all biological age markers were associated with greater BMI and fat mass, and all markers except telomere length were associated with greater height, at least at nominal significance (p<0.05). Immunometabolic Δ age was associated with better working memory (p = 4e -3) and reduced inattentiveness (p= 4e -4), while DNA methylation Δ age was associated with greater inattentiveness (p=0.03) and poorer externalizing behaviours (p= 0.01). Shorter telomere length was also associated with poorer externalizing behaviours (p=0.03).
Conclusions: In children, as in adults, biological ageing appears to be a multi-faceted process and adiposity is an important correlate of accelerated biological ageing. Patterns of associations suggested that accelerated immunometabolic age may be beneficial for some aspects of child development while accelerated DNA methylation age and telomere attrition may reflect early detrimental aspects of biological ageing, apparent even in children.
Funding: UK Research and Innovation (MR/S03532X/1); European Commission (grant agreement numbers: 308333; 874583).
- Computational and Systems Biology
- Genetics and Genomics
Mitochondria play an important role in both normal heart function and disease etiology. We report analysis of common genetic variations contributing to mitochondrial and heart functions using an integrative proteomics approach in a panel of inbred mouse strains called the Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel (HMDP). We performed a whole heart proteome study in the HMDP (72 strains, n=2-3 mice) and retrieved 848 mitochondrial proteins (quantified in ≥50 strains). High-resolution association mapping on their relative abundance levels revealed three trans-acting genetic loci on chromosomes (chr) 7, 13 and 17 that regulate distinct classes of mitochondrial proteins as well as cardiac hypertrophy. DAVID enrichment analyses of genes regulated by each of the loci revealed that the chr13 locus was highly enriched for complex-I proteins (24 proteins, P=2.2E-61), the chr17 locus for mitochondrial ribonucleoprotein complex (17 proteins, P=3.1E-25) and the chr7 locus for ubiquinone biosynthesis (3 proteins, P=6.9E-05). Follow-up high resolution regional mapping identified NDUFS4, LRPPRC and COQ7 as the candidate genes for chr13, chr17 and chr7 loci, respectively, and both experimental and statistical analyses supported their causal roles. Furthermore, a large cohort of Diversity Outbred mice was used to corroborate Lrpprc gene as a driver of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)-encoded gene regulation, and to show that the chr17 locus is specific to heart. Variations in all three loci were associated with heart mass in at least one of two independent heart stress models, namely, isoproterenol-induced heart failure and diet-induced obesity. These findings suggest that common variations in certain mitochondrial proteins can act in trans to influence tissue-specific mitochondrial functions and contribute to heart hypertrophy, elucidating mechanisms that may underlie genetic susceptibility to heart failure in human populations.