Symposium - "Beyond the end of your nose: Analytical advances and their potential for integrative studies of behaviour"

Keynote speakers: Magnus S. Magnusson (Iceland) &  Sebastien Deregnaucourt (France)

Measures of proximate mechanisms are needed in ethology and often reveal the interdisciplinary nature of the field. The symposium will focus on research tools for linking behavioural interactions with data from other disciplines (e.g. physiology, neuroscience, social sciences) at a multivariate level.

The symposium may host contributions presenting novel methods for analysing large data sets, or studies that have used one of the tools highlighted in the keynotes. Presented tools should bear the potential for connecting behaviour with data from other disciplines. Our goal is to stimulate ideas and novel avenues in the field.

The keynote speakers will present recent analytical advances for studying (i) time patterns and (ii) for sound analysis. Both approaches are useful in ethological studies; also in both contexts, massive data volumes may accumulate and the analysis may be extremely time-consuming and technically tricky. Also the analysis of tiny data volumes and rare events will be addressed. (i) Much patterning in behaviour is hidden to the naked eye. Standard statistical methods were not developed for the detection of ‘complex recurrent hierarchical temporal patterns’ characteristic of behaviour and interactions. Analysis with the THEME software has unravelled such patterns in many areas of behavioural research from human interactions to multi-neuron interactions within brains. ii) The quantitative analysis of birdsong is used in neuroethology, cognition and cultural evolution. New methods are presented for investigating the vocal development in birds at the individual level (daily vocal changes during ontogeny), as well as at the population level (vocal changes across generations).


The European Conference of Behavioural Biology | Universitätsring 1  | 1010 Wien