Collective Animal Cognition: a Theoretical Framework

Thursday, Oct 12, 2017 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm

The Jacob Marschak Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Mathematics in the Behavioral Sciences at UCLA

Speaker: Noam Miller, Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University

Members of many species, ours included, live in groups, and many of their cognitive functions are therefore influenced by the dynamics of the groups. Individuals may, for example, have to balance their personal preferences with sometimes conflicting social information and the need to maintain the group's cohesion. Animals and humans often conform to their groups, learn collectively, adaptively weigh personal and social information, and display group specific cognitive adaptations (such as reciprocal altruism or dominance hierarchies).

Using a combination of theoretical models and experiments on groups of fish and birds, Miller will demonstrate how individual cognition is shaped by taking place in a group, and attempt to construct a theoretical framework within which the mechanisms and evolution of collective cognition can be studied.

RSVP is requested

Additional Information

Light refreshments will be served. Parking on campus is $12 per vehicle.