PNAS - Predation risk drives social complexity in cooperative breeders. Groenewoud, Frommen, Josi, Tanaka, Jungwirth & Taborsky
NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Kinship reduces alloparental care in cooperative
cichlids where helpers pay-to-stay
Zoettl M., Heg D., Chervet N. & Taborsky M. (2013)
Social competence: an evolutionary approach
Taborsky, B. & Oliveira, R.F.
Larval helpers and age polyethism in ambrosia beetles
Biedermann P.H.W. & Taborsky M.
Animal personality due to social niche specialisation
Bergmueller R. & Taborsky M.
Environmental Change Enhances Cognitive Abilities in Fish
Kotrschal, A. & Taborsky, B.
Extended phenotypes as signals
Franziska C. Schaedelin and Michael Taborsky
On the Origin of Species by Natural
and Sexual Selection
G. Sander van Doorn, Pim Edelaar, Franz J. Weissing
Cambridge University Press
Alternative Reproductive Tactics: An Integrative
Oliveira R., Taborsky M. & Brockmann H.J.
The role of sensory ecology and cognition in social decisions
Workshop, 19-22 July 2016, Arolla, Switzerland
Organizers: Michael Taborsky and Karin Schneeberger, Universitiy of Bern
Social interactions are often assumed to require advanced cognitive abilities, as social behaviour typically happens among a large network of individuals, across different contexts, and over extended time periods. This is at variance with the observation that complex social behaviour can be observed in a wide range of animals, both in the laboratory and field. We think that rather simple cognitive mechanisms can generate complex social responses. The aim of this workshop is to discuss sensory and cognitive abilities and limitations of animals in the context of social behaviour. Questions discussed in the workshop will include, for instance, how social cues and signals are perceived by individuals and how they are used for decision making; the role of memory for behavioural responses in repeated social interactions; the significance of different sensory modalities for communication in the contexts of conflict and cooperation. These topics are of great interest to students and scientists from different disciplines, such as behavioural ecology, neurobiology, cognitive sciences, and psychology. Interaction between different fields will identify open questions and directions for future interdisciplinary research.
General schedule: July 19: arrival day; July 20 and 21: scientific program; July 22: excursion to the mountains
The program of the workshop will consist of a combination of plenary talks by invited speakers and work performed in small groups, in which the participants will discuss a particular theme together with one of the invited speakers. The results of these small-group sessions will be presented to the plenum by student participants, followed by a general discussion.
- Prof. Lars Chittka, University of London: Insects as minimal models of social cognition [pdf] [pdf] [pdf]
- Prof. Rui Oliveira, Universidade de Lisboa: Social cognition in zebrafish [pdf] [pdf] [pdf]
- Prof. Felicity Huntingford, University of Glasgow: How smart are fish and where does brain power come in? [pdf] [pdf] [pdf]
- Prof. Tecumseh Fitch, University of Vienna: Vertebrate vocal perception, honesty and adaptive social decisions [pdf] [pdf] [pdf]
- Prof. David Stephens, University of Minnesota: Complex signals matter (sometimes) [pdf] [pdf]
- Dr. Leif Engqvist: An information-theoretic framework for understanding social dilemmas
- Manon Schweinfurth: The role of communication when Norway rats reciprocate help
- Dr. Karin Schneeberger: Olfactory information for cooperation in Norway rats
Location and Venue
The symposium will be held in the Grand-HÃ´tel 'Kurhaus' in a breath-taking scenery amidst some of the finest mountain peaks of Switzerland. The venue is situated above the picturesque mountain village of Arolla, at 2100 m sea level at the core of the High Alps of the Valais. Enjoy the 360Â° mountain view panorama to be seen from the hotel (just with much less snow in summer!)
Access to Arolla and the Kurhaus: The nearest railway station to Arolla is Sion. From Sion, a bus ("Postauto") goes to Arolla, with one exchange of buses at Les Hauderes (travel time by bus is 1:15 h). On the arrival day (Tuesday, July 19, 2016) and during weekdays, buses leave Sion at 6:57, 8:40, 10:40, 12:50, 14:10, 16:10, and 17:10. On weekdays buses go back to Sion at 8:25, 10:00, 12:10, 15:00, 16:25, and 17:26. You will find the schedules of all trains and buses within Switzerland at the SBB website
1 - 2 ECTS can be obtained, depending on the contribution of the participant. The evaluation will be based on your active participation in discussions and group presentations during the symposium.
Costs for DPEE-participants and reimbursement
There is generally no registration fee. Only PhD students registered at the CUSO Doctoral Program in Ecology and Evolution (DPEE), researchers/teachers and people organizing the workshop are eligible for reimbursement of incurred travel expense by train (2nd class, half-fare ticket), accomodation and meals. Please see 'Instructions for reimbursement'
Expected costs for other participants
Workshop expenses for PhD-students from universities that are not member of the CUSO will be 400 CHF and 450 CHF for all other participants. All prices include full board (i.e., all meals and coffee breaks, and wine and water during dinner) in a shared double room.
PicturesCheck out the picture gallery of the workshop here.