Quantifying attention during social learning in great tits

Rado Seminar by Michael Chimento

  • Date: Feb 2, 2024
  • Time: 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Michael Chimento
  • Location: Hybrid meeting
  • Room: Seminar room MPI-AB Möggingen + Online
  • Host: Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior
  • Contact: ddechmann@ab.mpg.de
Quantifying attention during social learning in great tits
Social contact defines the substrate through which behavioral information may be transmitted from one individual to another. Thus far, we have used statistical models to infer whether great tits attend to each other during social learning, but recent advances in 3D tracking techniques have made it possible to directly quantify the gaze of animals. We develop a novel method for markerless 3D pose tracking and apply it to a wild population of great tits in two experiments. A preliminary stimulus presentation experiment allowed us to estimate the bird's field-of-view. In a second cultural diffusion experiment, knowledge of how to solve a novel foraging puzzle spread through the wild population. We use the field-of-view derived from the first experiment to gain insight into how much social observation and individual exploration is required for birds to learn how to successfully solve the puzzle. For the first time, we are able to directly quantify how wild birds attend to each other in the context of foraging. In this presentation, I will introduce the novel tracking technique and present preliminary results from both experiments.

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