Using time, choice and movement as windows into cognition (across species)

Institute Seminar by Tiago Monteiro

  • Date: Jun 11, 2024
  • Time: 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Tiago Monteiro
  • I am interested in studying how different animal species acquire, remember and use information from their environment. My background includes work on the psychology and neural bases of timing in birds and rodents, on unreinforced conceptual learning in new-born birds, on animal foraging and decision-making, and more recently on basic learning and memory processes in canids and fish. I have a BSc and a MSc in Psychology (University of Minho, PT), and I did my PhD in Alex Kacelnik’s Behavioural Ecology Research Group (Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK). Following this I was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Joe Paton’s Learning Lab at the Champalimaud Research (PT), and then a Research Associate in the Department of Biology (University of Oxford, UK). I am currently a member of the William James Center for Research (University of Aveiro, PT) where I am setting up and leading the Dog Cognition Unit, and a Postdoctoral Researcher in Friederike Range’s Domestication Lab (Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology, Department of Interdisciplinary Life Sciences, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, AT).
  • Location: Bückle St. 5a, 78467 Konstanz
  • Room: Seminar room MPI-AB Bücklestrasse + Online
  • Host: Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior
  • Contact:
Using time, choice and movement as windows into cognition (across species)
In order to survive and reproduce animals need to acquire and respond to information from their environment. When compared to how much is known about how animals deal with spatial information, how they deal with time is far less well understood. The ability of organisms to learn, represent and use temporal information is critical for most major cognitive processes and for adaptive behaviour. Examples of these are the ability to detect contingency between events, which is essential to exploit the relation between cause and effect, or knowing when to select and perform the right set of actions at the appropriate time. In a series of example studies with birds, mammals and fish I will show how offering animals choices, under systematic (and experimentally controlled) variations of their environment’s temporal contingencies, while looking at their choice behaviour and/or movement profiles, can provide unexplored opportunities to investigate behaviour and tap into animals’ cognitive capabilities.

The MPI-AB Seminar Series is open to members of MPI and Uni Konstanz. The zoom link is published each week in the MPI-AB newsletter.

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