THE EVOLUTION OF BEHAVIOURAL MECHANISMS

Functional studies of animal behaviour traditionally ignore the psychological and physiological mechanisms involved. Yet often, mechanistic details can crucially affect the behaviour we observe. For a more complete understanding of animal behaviour, we need to study the adaptive value of the underlying mechanisms and the constraints on their evolution. This year's ASAB Winter Conference will showcase an emerging line of research that directly addresses the evolution of behavioural mechanisms.

How do animals reach adaptive solutions? What information-processing rules do they use? Why is behaviour sometimes irrational? Why are cognitive systems biased? How do animals deal with uncertainty? When is flexible behaviour favoured over rigid behaviour? These questions are central to understanding how selection shapes behaviour. The conference will cover theoretical and empirical research, integrate functional and mechanistic approaches, and bring together researchers from a range of sub-disciplines to offer a diversity of perspectives on animal behaviour.

Special issue of Current Zoology freely available HERE.