In the framework of the “Fruits of Ethology” guest talk series we will have the pleasure to welcome our next speaker, Prof. Niclas Kolm evolutionary biologist from Stockholm University.
Abstract: Brain size is enormously variable across all taxonomic levels and a suite of hypotheses, mostly targeting the cognitive advantages and energetic costs of evolving larger brains, exist over how this variation has evolved. I will present results from multiple assays testing these hypotheses in recently developed guppy (Poecilia reticulata) artificial selection lines with >10 % difference in relative brain size. Specifically, I will go through the hypotheses that are supported and refuted in these selection lines concerning both how brain size evolves and how variation in brain size can be an important mechanism behind variation in behavior. I will show how (artificial) brain size evolution affected a large plethora of fitness-related traits from immunocompetence and life history through personality and cognition to sexual signaling and even mate choice – often in a sex-specific way. I will also outline some suggestions for future avenues of research in this area and describe briefly some preliminary analyses on new guppy selection lines where we have selected on social behavior to test how brain morphology and other behaviours change under selection on social behavior.
Date: 9th of February, Thursday, 15.45
Location: ELTE, Department of Ethology (South Building), Pázmány Péter sétány 1/c, 6th floor
Title: The costs and benefits of evolving a larger brain – results from an artificial selection experiment.