In the framework of the “Fruits of Ethology” guest talk series we will have the pleasure to welcome our next speaker, Robyn Hudson (Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).
Date: 10th October, Thursday, 16.30
Location: ELTE, Pázmány Péter sétány 1/c, South Building, 7.110
Title: The development of animal personality: a psychobiological approach
There is increasing interest in the study of animal personality among behavioral biologists. Once considered the exclusive domain of human psychology, this now attracts the attention of comparative psychologists, behavioral ecologist and theoretical and evolutionary biologists. Information is scarce, however, on the ontogeny of animal personality, particularly in mammals. It is difficult to study mammalian young in a naturalistic manner without disturbing the mother-young relationship, and tools suitable for testing young animals across development, and indeed across the life span, are limited. Taking a comparative approach, we have been studying the development of personality in various mammalian species and with a particular focus on the role of siblings in shaping individual differences in morphology, physiology and behavior. Our study species include wild and domestic European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), free-ranging domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus), wild-type house mice (Mus musculus) and laboratory rats (Rattus norvegicus), domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) and the Australian dingo (Canis dingo), as well as children and adolescents. We give particular emphasis to developing biologically relevant tests based on the animals’ natural, evolved behavior and the challenges faced by them in everyday life. Increasingly, we have also been investigating differences in the physiological and neural processes associated with individual differences in behavior.
Márta Gácsi & Ádám Miklósi