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DySoC/NIMBioS Seminar Series

DySoC and NIMBioS are hosting a series of seminars on topics related to social complexity. Monthly seminars will be held at NIMBioS in Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd. Light refreshments will be served in Room 205 beginning 30 minutes before each talk. Faculty and students from across the UT community are welcome to join us.

T. Freeberg photo.

Speaker: Dr. Todd Freeberg, Psychology, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (DySoC)

Time/Date: Monday, August 27, 2018, 3:30*

Location: Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.

Topic: Songbird social psychology: Flock complexity affects Carolina chickadee behavior

Abstract: We have known for decades that animal behavior is influenced by the genetic and developmental backgrounds of individuals. In human behavior, it is also clear that the immediate social context of an individual powerfully influences her or his behavior. It is becoming increasingly clear that social context also plays an important role in non-human animal behavior. This presentation will outline a few of the experiments we have conducted recently on the vocal and problem-solving behavior of Carolina chickadees, a small songbird common to the southeastern United States. We have found that chickadee flock size and composition influence the complexity and use of calls by individuals, and also their ability to solve novel foraging problems. Our work provides support to the hypothesis that social complexity drives communicative complexity and may drive social intelligence.

Dr. Todd Freeberg is professor and associate head of the Department of Psychology and is a joint faculty member in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. His research focuses on relationships between complexity of social groups and the diversity of communicative s ignals used by individuals in those groups. He is an Associate Editor for the journals Animal Behaviour and the Journal of Comparative Psychology.

*Join us for refreshments at 3 p.m.

Seminar Flyer (pdf)

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For more information about this and other NIMBioS Seminars, visit /announcements/seminars.

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From 2008 until early 2021, NIMBioS was supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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