[S10] Cognitive evolution

Animals vary dramatically in cognitive ability, and cognition - defined as the neuronal processes concerned with the acquisition, retention, and use of information - is in the focus of much current research. Indeed, the past few decades have shed some light on the selective forces underlying the evolution of cognitive abilities and its substrate, the brain. However, we are still far from fully understanding the evolution of cognitive abilities. For instance, it is still not known what the social and ecological conditions are that select for specific, circumscribed skills rather than for more general cognitive ability. Answering these questions requires the integration of both proximate and ultimate perspectives, and thus integrating multiple disciplines using theoretical and experimental tools from evolutionary biology including quantitative genetics, genomics, experimental evolution, evolutionary ecology and field work on natural selection. The aim of this symposium is to increase dialogue across the sub-disciplines investigating the evolution of cognition and to advocate the incorporation of mechanistic and functional approaches to seek both general principles as well as integration between the different aspects of cognitive evolution. 
Organizers: Gabriella Gamberale-Stille, Alexander Kotrschal
Invited speakers: Judith Burkhart, Reuven Dukas