Problem Solving in Fawn-footed Mosaic-tailed Rats Is Not Constrained by Personality
Misha K. Rowell1,2. 1James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia; 2Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Sciences, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

While the relationship between personality and problem solving is a hot topic, with many studies finding that bolder individuals are also better problem solvers, this relationship can vary due to numerous factors. I investigated the relationship between problem solving and personality in fawn-footed mosaic-tailed rats Melomys cervinipes. I measured problem solving using two food-baited puzzle boxes (matchbox and cylinder) given in each individual’s home cage. Several behaviours were measured in problem solving tests, and in three other general tests to assess personality. Preliminary results suggest that behaviours measured in general tests were not correlated with problem solving performance. However, in solving tests, boldness was positively correlated between puzzles, and boldness in a matchbox task was positively correlated with time to solve and time spent interacting with the puzzle. Boldness in a cylinder task did not affect solving performance. While personality affected performance in the matchbox task, M. cervinipes may be behaviourally flexible across contexts and problem solving performance in some contexts may not be constrained by an individual’s personality.