Tuesday, October 6, 2020

COVID-19: Joint pornography use was associated with more sex quality & more satisfaction & intimacy with their partners, which in turn was associated with better perceived physical health & better sleep quality

Rodrigues, David L., and Joana Martins. 2020. “Personal and Relational Outcomes of Online Pornography Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” PsyArXiv. October 6. doi:10.31234/osf.io/h4jn5

Rolf Degen's take: https://twitter.com/DegenRolf/status/1313491121805373440

Abstract: The pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced the world into social isolation and confinement for health and safety reasons. Such changes affected the way people connect with each other, which had repercussions on health and well-being. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, researchers have been striving to understand the effects of the pandemic at social, personal and relational levels. Some people have experienced heightened sexual desire and made new additions to their sexual repertoire. We extended these findings by examining the personal and relational outcomes of joint and solitary online pornography use. Results from a cross-sectional study (N = 301 participants; 56.5% men; Mage = 31.36, SD = 10.57) showed that participants indicated adherence to confinement policies, changes in lifestyle, and fear of becoming infected with COVID-19. Participants also indicated decreased sexual desire since the outbreak, but also increased willingness to have sex. Results also showed that joint pornography use was associated with more sex quality and more satisfaction and intimacy with their partners, which in turn was associated with better perceived physical health and better sleep quality. The reverse pattern was found for solitary pornography use. Lastly, overall results were consistent for single and pattered people. These findings show the personal and relational benefits of using online pornography with partners use during the pandemic.

Rolf Degen summarizing... Psychology students were easily tricked into believing that they had witnessed a genuine paranormal event

Talking to the Dead in the Classroom: How a Supposedly Psychic Event Impacts Beliefs and Feelings. Lise Lesaffre et al. Psychological Reports, October 5, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1177/0033294120961068

Rolf Degen's take: https://twitter.com/DegenRolf/status/1313410555965734913

Abstract: Paranormal beliefs (PBs) are common in adults. There are numerous psychological correlates of PBs and associated theories, yet, we do not know whether such correlates reinforce or result from PBs. To understand causality, we developed an experimental design in which participants experience supposedly paranormal events. Thus, we can test an event’s impact on PBs and PB-associated correlates. Here, 419 naïve students saw a performer making contact with a confederate’s deceased kin. We tested participants’ opinions and feelings about this performance, and whether these predicted how participants explain the performance. We assessed participants’ PBs and repetition avoidance (PB related cognitive correlate) before and after the performance. Afterwards, participants rated explanations of the event and described their opinions and feelings (open-ended question). Overall, 65% of participants reported having witnessed a genuine paranormal event. The open-ended question revealed distinct opinion and affect groups, with reactions commonly characterized by doubt and mixed feelings. Importantly, paranormal explanations were more likely when participants reported their feelings than when not reported. Beyond these results, we replicated that 1) higher pre-existing PBs were associated with more psychic explanations (confirmation bias), and 2) PBs and repetition avoidance did not change from before to after the performance. Yet, PBs reminiscent of the actual performance (spiritualism) increased. Results showed that young adults easily endorse PBs and paranormal explanations for events, and that their affective reactions matter. Future studies should use participants’ subjective experiences to target PBs in causal designs (e.g., adding control conditions).

Keywords: Belief, supernatural, magic routine, cognition, affect

We are able to recognise very subtle differences between facial expressions even for the shortest presentation time; we can recognise these expressions based on information contained in the eye region only

In the Blink of an Eye: Reading Mental States From Briefly Presented Eye Regions. Gunnar Schmidtmann et al. i-Perception, October 5, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1177/2041669520961116

Rolf Degen's take: https://twitter.com/DegenRolf/status/1313403609871245313

Abstract: Faces provide not only cues to an individual’s identity, age, gender, and ethnicity but also insight into their mental states. The aim was to investigate the temporal aspects of processing of facial expressions of complex mental states for very short presentation times ranging from 12.5 to 100 ms in a four-alternative forced choice paradigm based on Reading the Mind in the Eyes test. Results show that participants are able to recognise very subtle differences between facial expressions; performance is better than chance, even for the shortest presentation time. Importantly, we show for the first time that observers can recognise these expressions based on information contained in the eye region only. These results support the hypothesis that the eye region plays a particularly important role in social interactions and that the expressions in the eyes are a rich source of information about other peoples’ mental states. When asked to what extent the observers guessed during the task, they significantly underestimated their ability to make correct decisions, yet perform better than chance, even for very brief presentation times. These results are particularly relevant in the light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the associated wearing of face coverings.

Keywords: facial expressions, emotional states, temporal processing, theory of mind, eyes

The aim of this study was to investigate the temporal aspects of processing of facial (eye region) expressions of complex mental states. Our results show that subjects are able to recognise subtle and fine-grained differences between facial expressions which convey emotions, intentions, and feelings within a fraction of a second—similar results have been revealed before (e.g., Derntl et al., 2009). However, interestingly, humans can recognise these expressions, above chance level, based on information from the eye region only, which underlines the important role of the eye region in social interactions and that the expressions in the eyes are a rich source of information about other peoples’ mental states (Grossmann, 2017). The resolution of visual sensitivity to facial expressions is far superior than might be presumed based on the coarse differences between the Ekman six basic emotions (Ekman, 1992).

In recent years, a number of investigators have pursued the hypothesis that Theory of Mind might be characterised as a dual system or dual process capacity (Apperly & Butterfill, 2009Frith & Frith, 2008Meinhardt-Injac et al., 2018). Dual system hypotheses construe a cognitive capacity as subserved by two distinct processes. One—often termed System 1—is typically taken to be unconscious, automatic, and fast, and the other—System 2—conscious, deliberative, and slow (Evans, 2008). Although these properties, among many others, are not necessary features of systems, they are characteristic of them. Our findings provide evidence that mental states can reliably be associated with facial expressions much more rapidly than previously believed, and most importantly, from the eye regions alone. Our results provide some novel support for the existence of a rapid Theory of Mind capacity and, indirectly therefore, for the dual system hypothesis. That facial expressions of complex mental states can be accurately recognised at very brief presentation times might facilitate nonverbal communication and rapid adjustment of one’s approach in response to facial expressions of mental states of another person. Note that our results relate to one specific identity and the extent to which these results can be generalised to other face identities has yet to be determined.

Another surprising finding is that subjects significantly underestimated their ability to make correct decisions at short presentation times. The results shown in Figures 2 and 3 reveal that participants considered themselves to be guessing on a significant proportion of trials, yet they consistently perform better than chance, even for extremely short presentation times. There is a huge body of research showing that emotionally charged stimuli, such as faces with facial expressions, are rapidly and automatically processed (e.g., Almeida et al., 2013; Vuilleumier et al., 2001). Furthermore, it has been shown that responses to emotional stimuli, in particular linked to threat, lead to involuntary decisions (Globisch et al., 1999Lang et al., 1998Öhman et al., 1995; Vuilleumier et al., 2001). This might explain the discrepancy between the perceived and actual performance in the task described here. This type of automatic processing of facial expressions of emotional states might have developed to prioritise significant stimuli, presumably those critical for nonverbal communication and social interactions. Here, we can show for the first time that accurate decisions about a person’s emotional state can be extracted in an automatic “pre-attentive” and rapid way from the eye region alone.

As noted in the introduction, the literature on which expressions are more salient—that is, which are more quickly and easily recognised—is mixed. Some have argued that positive expressions like happiness are more easily recognised, while others have argued that it is rather negative expressions like fear or anger that have greater salience (Calvo et al., 2014Calvo & Lundqvist, 2008Palermo & Coltheart, 2004Tracy & Robins, 2008). Our results show that, with increasing presentation time, performance for negative expressions improved much more rapidly than that for positive ones. One might argue that this could be based on image-based aspects of the stimuli used in this study. For instance, Nummenmaa and Calvo (2015) proposed that contrast is a useful cue for rapid identification of expressions. If the stimuli differ across positive and negative groupings in terms of contrast, this could explain the differing results for positive and negative expressions with the two tests. Figure 7 shows root mean square (RMS) contrasts (Pelli & Bex, 2013Rovamo et al., 1992) for all 36 stimuli. There are insignificant variations across the full range of stimuli including both positive and negative (mean RMS = 0.51, ±0.004 SD). Image properties are therefore very unlikely to explain the observed results. It is, however, important to emphasise that this analysis does not provide any information about the contrast distribution (more pronounced local features) which could be responsible for differences.


Figure 7. RMS Contrast for the 36 Stimuli. The marginal figure shows the histogram and a normal distribution fit to the RMS contrasts.

It is noteworthy that face expression identification accuracy saturates on average around 55% (see Figure 1). Restriction of available information to the eye region may partly explain this limitation of performance. It is well established that the eyes make a disproportionate contribution to the identification of emotional facial expressions (Baron-Cohen, 1997Grossmann, 2017Jack et al., 2012). Previous studies, however, have indicated that other face features (e.g., nose, mouth) also communicate information which facilitates interpretation of facial expressions (Baron-Cohen, 1997Eisenbarth & Alpers, 2011Yuki et al., 2007). This suggests that an improvement in accuracy may be achieved if the stimuli were adapted to include more face information.

In summary, we can show for the very first time that humans can recognise facial expressions of complex mental states, above chance level, within a fraction of a second, based on information from the eye region only, which underlines the important role of the eye region in social interactions, and that the expressions in the eyes are a rich source of information about other peoples’ mental states. In other words, the eyes really are “. . . windows into other minds . . .” (Grossmann, 2017). The salience of the eye region for inferring an individual's emotional state may be particularly beneficial in situations where information from other features, such as the mouth, is unavailable. This is of particular relevant in the light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the associated wearing of face coverings (see also Carbon, 2020).

Does Parental Separation Lower Genetic Influences on Children's School Performance?

Does Parental Separation Lower Genetic Influences on Children's School Performance? Tina Baier  Zachary Van Winkle. Journal of Marriage and Family, October 2 2020. https://doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12730

Rolf Degen's take: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jomf.12730


Objective: A behavioral genetics approach is used to test whether parental separation lowers the importance of genes for children's school performance.

Background: The Scarr–Rowe hypothesis, which states that the relative importance of genes on cognitive ability is higher for advantaged compared to disadvantaged children, has been expanded to educational outcomes. However, advantage/disadvantage is predominantly conceptualized as parental socioeconomic status and neglects other important factors. This study expands upon the literature to include family structure as an indicator for advantage/disadvantage.

Method: Data from TwinLife, a new population‐register‐based sample of twins and their families in Germany, and ACE variance decomposition models are used to estimate the heritability of cognitive ability (NPairs = 896), school grades (NPairs = 740), and academic self‐concept (NPairs = 949) separately for single‐parent and two‐parent households.

Results: Findings show that the relative importance of genes on children's cognitive ability and academic self‐concept is lower for children in single‐parent households compared to two‐parent households (32–47% and 23–50%, respectively), but differences are negligible for math grades (41–43%). ACE models adjusted for mothers' education and household income retrieve substantively similar results.

Conclusion: The quality of the family environment that is important for the realization of children's genetic potential is not just shaped by socioeconomic status, but also family structure.


In this study, we sought to ascertain (a) whether parental separation lowers children's chances to realize genetic dispositions relevant for school performance and (b) whether differences in heritability are driven by socioeconomic differences between two‐ and single‐parent households. We studied genetic influences on three different indicators of school performance – cognitive skills, math grades, and math academic self‐concept – that are important predictors for children's educational attainment. Drawing on previous findings that show that parental separation can have a negative impact on children's school performance and enhancement theories rooted in behavioral genetics, we expected genetic influence on school performance to be higher in two‐parent compared to single‐parent families (H1). Furthermore, if parental separation moderates the impact of genetic influences due mechanisms above and beyond socioeconomic differences between households, then genetic influences on school performance should be lower in one‐parent compared to two‐parent families even when adjusted for parental education and household income (H2).

Our results supported both hypotheses and provided a clear pattern for cognitive ability and math academic self‐concept. Genetic influences accounted for substantially more variance in children's school performance in two‐parent compared to one‐parent families. Furthermore, the higher genetic influence in two‐parent compared to one‐parent families is not attributable solely to educational or income differences between households, but likely driven by mechanisms related with family instability. Specifically, our findings support the notion that processes associated with parental separation, such as more distant parenting, reduced parental monitoring, and higher levels of stress among children, lower the quality of the family environment (e.g., Cooper et al., 2011; Hadfield et al., 2018; Lee & McLanahan, 2015). Compared to the tailored environments of two‐parent households, the environments of children in single‐parent households seem less able to enhance children's chances to realize their genetic potential. Our results for cognitive ability and math academic self‐concept therefore support the expectation that parental separation indeed represents a distinct set of environmental conditions that moderate the impact of genetic influences although further research is needed to adjudicate the mechanisms at work.

For math grades differences in the heritability between one‐ and two‐parent households were negligible. One possible explanation for our math grade findings could lie in the highly stratified and differentiated German school system, which makes it difficult to compare school grades across different school types. While we controlled for the school type, we are likely not able to completely capture differences with respect to grading. For example, it's more difficult to obtain the best grade in the most demanding school tracks (“Gymnasium”) compared to lower tracks (“Hauptschule” and “Realschule”). Future research on school grades should therefore choose a country with a comprehensive schooling system that facilitates comparability. In addition, grades are plagued by slightly higher missingness compared to our other indicators. Therefore, our findings on grades should also be replicated once larger data sets are available for Germany.

Our study highlights promising avenues to facilitate a better understanding of heritability differences in children's school performance by family structure. For example, further research is needed to examine whether the impact of parental separation differs by children's age, because children's vulnerability for negative life events may vary over their childhood. Children rely almost exclusively on familial resources during early childhood, whereas more proximal contexts, such as schools, teachers, or peers, become more influential as children grow older. In sum, to gain a better understanding on the link of parental separation and genetic influences, future research needs to study different outcomes, while accounting for the timing of parental separation as well as the duration of exposure to marital conflict.

In addition, future research should examine the diversity of single‐ and two‐parent households in greater detail. For example, we were not able to include step‐parent families in this study. However, research on family instability highlights that divorce is one of many transitions that may affect children negatively (Cavanagh & Fomby, 2019; Hadfield et al., 2018). Future research is needed, for example, to examine to what extent the presence of a step‐parent changes the quality of the family environment. An additional adult in the household may be able to help facilitate a rearing environment tailored to the needs of children and thereby help children express their genetic potential. In contrast, stress and conflict associated with remarriage and merging two households may further suppress the realization of children's innate abilities. More information on the socioeconomic well‐being of households than household income and mothers' education, such as occupation status, as well as indicators of family processes, such as custody arrangements and father involvement, are needed to capture all the latent constructs that should be considered.

In addition, our findings refer to Germany, often considered an ideal typical conservative welfare state that provides a relatively high level of social security. However, German labor market and family policy also actively incentivizes a male‐breadwinner female‐homemaker division of labor with low coverage of all‐day childcare and schooling. Differences in the realization of children's genetic potential by household composition may be larger in liberal societies, such as the United States, where women are at a considerably higher risk of poverty following divorce (Van Winkle & Struffolino, 2018). Compared to social democratic states where social systems secure divorced women's socioeconomic well‐being and facilitate labor market participation, such as Sweden, differences in the heritability may be lower. Future research should estimate the heritability of school‐related skills by household composition in other contexts to gain insight on the extent that institutional arrangements ameliorate or exacerbate the effects of parental separation.

One limitation of our study lies in the CTD and its inability to account for gene–environmental correlations. Previous research shows that parental divorce itself is heritable, with estimates ranging from 0.13 to 0.50 (McGue & Lykken, 1992; Salvatore et al., 2018). If genetic influences that affect parental separation also affect children's school performance, for example, via problem or nonconfirmatory behavior in school, then the link between parental separation and children's school performance would be genetically confounded (e.g., Jaffee & Price, 2007). To date, several studies have investigated to what extent gene–environment correlations drive the impact of separation or divorce (see for an overview Amato, 2010). These studies have used adoption‐ or children of twin (CoT) designs. Previous research shows that negative influences on abnormal behavior are driven by environmental exposure, while evidence is mixed for internalizing problems and educational outcomes (e.g., D'Onofrio et al., 200520062007). Although O'Connor et al. (2000) provided evidence for gene–environment correlations for reading competencies, parental reports on children's achievement, and children's self‐reported attitudes about educational achievement, D'Onofrio et al. (2006) provided conflicting evidence for grade repetition and years of education. In light of the weak support for gene–environmental correlations, the current literature indicates that gene–environmental correlations are likely not the main driver of the association between parental separation and children's outcomes.

Another promising route for future research is to examine whether the negative impact of parental separation is driven by genetic nurturing (e.g., Dalton & Fletcher, 2017; Kong et al., 2018; Liu, 2018). Genetic nurturing describes how genetic influences that are not passed down to children still affect their outcomes. For example, it could be that specific genes that are associated with parental separation are also associated with specific parenting behaviors. Even if these genes are not transmitted they could still affect children as they lead to specific parenting behavior. Such research questions, however, can only be addressed using methodological approaches developed in molecular genetics.

In conclusion, our study has for the first time shown that genetic influences on certain indicators of children's school performance differ considerably in single‐ and two‐parent families. In addition, our findings indicate that parental separation is associated with processes that affect the realization of children's genetic potential above and beyond socioeconomic differences. Our study highlights an important but until now mainly neglected factor in the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage among children who experienced a parental separation and live in single‐parent households (Mclanahan, 2004; McLanahan & Percheski, 2008; Raley & Sweeney, 2020). Our study has implications for policies targeted at improving the educational disadvantages of children living in single‐parent households. For example, tailored learning environments within and outside of schools targeted at children living in single‐parent households could complement income transfers to ensure children's chances for the realization of their genetic potential. A shift from traditional structural characteristics to family structure is needed to enhance our current understanding on the mechanisms behind the gene–environment interplay leading to the reproduction of inequalities across generations.

Low contact frequency was associated with poor health & low survival rates; but increasing the frequency of social interactions beyond a moderate level was no longer associated with better health & longevity

Is More Always Better? Examining the Nonlinear Association of Social Contact Frequency With Physical Health and Longevity. Olga Stavrova, Dongning Ren. Social Psychological and Personality Science, October 5, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550620961589

Rolf Degen's take: https://twitter.com/DegenRolf/status/1313369677662429186

Abstract: Frequent social contact has been associated with better health and longer life. It remains unclear though whether there is an optimal contact frequency, beyond which contact is no longer positively associated with health and longevity. The present research explored this question by examining nonlinear associations of social contact frequency with health and longevity. Study 1 (N ∼ 350,000) demonstrated that once the frequency of social contact reached a moderate level (monthly or weekly), its positive association with health flattened out. Study 2 (N ∼ 50,000) extended these findings to longitudinal and mortality data: Although low contact frequency was associated with poor health and low survival rates, increasing the frequency of social interactions beyond a moderate level (monthly or weekly) was no longer associated with better health and longevity and, in some cases, was even related to worse health and increased mortality risks.

Keywords: health, mortality, social contact frequency, nonlinear effects

Study 1 provided first evidence of a nonlinear association between social contact frequency and physical health. It showed that increasing the frequency of social contacts from yearly to monthly is associated with significant health improvement. Yet increasing the frequency of social contacts beyond this point (e.g., from monthly to daily) is associated with very little additional benefits.

Study 1 provided the initial demonstration of the nonlinear association between contact frequency and health. Yet its use of cross-sectional data does not provide any evidence for the suggested causal direction. Therefore, in Study 2, we tested the nonlinear effect of contact frequency on health using longitudinal data. Additionally, Study 2 examined whether the nonlinear pattern extends beyond self-rated physical health to mortality.

While offering a new understanding of the coevolution of genes, culture, and human behavior, niche‐construction models also invoke multivariate causality, which require multiple time series to resolve

Genes, culture, and the human niche: An overview. Michael J. O'Brien  R. Alexander Bentley. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews, September 28 2020. https://doi.org/10.1002/evan.21865

Abstract: The sharp distinction between biological traits and culturally based traits, which had long been standard in evolutionary approaches to behavior, was blurred in the early 1980s by mathematical models that allowed a co‐dependent evolution of genetic transmission and cultural information. Niche‐construction theory has since added another contrast to standard evolutionary theory, in that it views niche construction as a cause of evolutionary change rather than simply a product of selection. While offering a new understanding of the coevolution of genes, culture, and human behavior, niche‐construction models also invoke multivariate causality, which require multiple time series to resolve. The empirical challenge lies in obtaining time‐series data on causal pathways involved in the coevolution of genes, culture, and behavior. This is a significant issue in archeology, where time series are often sparse and causal behaviors are represented only by proxies in the material record.

Evolution provides a critical foundation for proposing why men’s neurobiological and hormonal systems (testosterone) would have the functional capacity to respond to certain forms of partnering and parenting

Gettler L.T. (2020) Exploring Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Fatherhood and Paternal Biology: Testosterone as an Exemplar. In: Fitzgerald H.E., von Klitzing K., Cabrera N.J., Scarano de Mendonça J., Skjøthaug T. (eds) Handbook of Fathers and Child Development. Springer, Oct 2 2020. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-51027-5_10

Abstract: Fathers’ roles vary greatly within and across cultures. Reflecting human biological plasticity, these diverse forms of fathering are expressed through psychobiological mechanisms. In this chapter, I focus on testosterone as one of the key and widely studied mechanisms relevant to the biology of fatherhood in humans and other species. I highlight the ways that evolutionary framing provides a critical foundation for proposing why men’s neurobiological and hormonal systems would have the functional capacity to respond to certain forms of partnering and parenting. I also review the importance of cultural variation in fatherhood and family life for studying the plausible range of possibilities for parental physiology in contemporary family systems.

Keywords: Biological plasticity Testosterone Evolutional perspectives on fathering Parental investment theory Cooperative breeding 

Individuals who perceived their competitors to be of high mate-value were more supportive of traditional gender roles and, only for men, more opposed to promiscuity and sexual liberalism

Does the Quality of Mating Competitors Affect Socio-Political Attitudes? An Experimental Test. Francesca R. Luberti, Khandis R. Blake & Robert C. Brooks. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, September 30 2020. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40750-020-00151-3


Objectives: Individual differences in socio-political attitudes can reflect mating interests, and attitudes can also shift in response to mating market cues, including mating competitor quality. In four experiments, we tested whether competitors’ attractiveness (Experiments 1F&1M) and income (Experiments 2F&2M) would influence socio-political attitudes (participants’ self-reported attitudes towards promiscuity and sexual liberalism, traditional gender roles, and the minimum wage and healthcare).

Methods: We collected data from American participants online through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (total N = 787). In all experiments, each participant was randomly assigned to one of four experimental treatments in a between-subjects design (three levels of mating competitor quality and a control group), and to one of five stimuli within each treatment.

Results: Overall, the experimental treatments largely did not predict participants’ socio-political attitudes. The fifteen unique experimental stimuli, however, did significantly affect participants’ perception of their competitors’ quality. That perception, in turn, affected some socio-political attitudes. Namely, individuals who perceived their competitors to be of high mate-value were more supportive of traditional gender roles and, only for men in Experiment 2M, more opposed to promiscuity and sexual liberalism than individuals who perceived competitors to be of low mate-value. These results only applied to sexually unrestricted, but not restricted, women. Perceived mating competition did not affect attitudes towards the minimum wage and healthcare.

Conclusions: Experimental cues of mating competition shifted participants’ perceptions of their competitors’ mating quality and these perceptions in turn shifted some socio-political attitudes. We interpret these results considering broader arguments about plasticity in socio-political attitudes.

It sounds like food: Phonotaxis of a diurnal lizard -- There is a complex interaction between the Balearic lizard, Podarcis lilfordi and the dead horse arum, Helicodiceros muscivorus

Pérez-Cembranos A and Pérez-Mellado V. (2020). It sounds like food: Phonotaxis of a diurnal lizard. Behavioural Processes 179:104217. DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2020.104217

Rolf Degen's take: https://twitter.com/DegenRolf/status/1313339840319160322


• There is a complex interaction between the Balearic lizard, Podarcis lilfordi and the dead horse arum, Helicodiceros muscivorus.

• The dead horse arum attracts flies to be pollinated.

• Flies are trapped inside floral chambers during several hours.

• Lizards are able to enter inside floral chambers to capture flies.

• A natural experiment using trapped flies was done in Aire. Lizards were attracted by the sound of trapped flies.

• This is the first known case of phonotaxis towards prey for a diurnal lizard.

Abstract: Foraging diurnal lizards are well known for their use of visual and chemical cues to detect prey. We already showed that the Balearic lizard is able to detect prey using visual and chemical cues, even from airborne odors. In this study we carried out a field experiment to test if lizards can detect prey using acoustic cues. Our results show that Podarcis lilfordi is able to detect flies trapped inside opaque cups, only using acoustic cues. To our knowledge, this is the first known case of phonotaxis of a diurnal lizard. Thus, P. lilfordi can detect, from far away, current pollinators trapped inside floral chambers of the dead horse arum, Helicodiceros muscivorus. This is another behavioral trait displayed by the Balearic lizard during its complex interaction with the dead horse arum.

Popular version: The Lizard and the Rotting Meat Lily. Mary Bates. Psychology Today, Oct 5 2020. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/animal-minds/202010/the-lizard-and-the-rotting-meat-lily