The study of animal cognition is a growing area in the scientific community. Defined as the way animals perceive, take in, store, and act on information from their environment, cognition is vital for animals to be able to make decisions, respond to changes, and plastically alter their behaviour.
Join three scientists from the University of Western Australia and learn about their latest research findings, we focusing on the study of cognition and communication in birds, using two main study species; the Western Australian magpie, and the southern pied babbler.
Camilla Soravia – investigates the relationship between heat stress and cognition in pied babblers, an arid zone South African bird.
Grace Blackburn – works with wild Western Australian magpies to try and contextualise the importance of cognition by understanding if and how it can help individuals to respond to man-made changes.
Sarah Walsh - explores the ability for humans to create seemingly infinite meaning from a finite set of sounds has likely been a critical component in our success as a species, allowing the unbounded communication of information. Syntax, the combining of meaningful sounds into phrases, is one of the primary features of language that enables this extensive expressivity.
The cognition and communication of avian species is advance far beyond our comprehension. These birds that we study are capable of amazing feats that we are only just beginning to understand.
Target audience: Suitable for all ages.