Symposium - "Multimodal communication in multimodal environments"

Keynote speakers: Wouter Halfwerk (The Netherlands) & Walter Hödl (Austria)

In multimodal communication animals produce and perceive signals in multiple sensory channels simultaneously and/or sequentially (e.g., acoustic, visual, chemical, etc.).
Signal detectability depends on signal design, transmission through a specific medium, as well as the ability of sensory systems to process signal components. The use of multiple signal modalities, where each modality can increase overall efficacy under specific conditions, can enhance signal conspicuousness and thus become under positive selection from intended receivers. To understand when and why multimodal signals are favored, we need to take the coupled evolution of signals, sensory systems, signaling behavior, intended and unintended receivers as well as their habitat choices into account.

This symposium aims to address the following questions: How does perceptual interference from environmental noise in various modalities shape multimodal signal design? Do multimodal signals have specific benefits when compared to unimodal signals? Can the diversity in signal components of multimodal displays be explained by their efficacy to influence receivers? Are different signaling modalities equally important for different receivers? Intended and unintended? Can signals combined across sensory modalities influence signal evolution and is multimodal behavior guided by the sensory ecology of animals?


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