Back to Listing

INHS Seminar - What Lizards Can Learn and How They Learn It

Event Type
Illinois Natural History Survey Seminar Committee
Nov 9, 2021   4:00 pm  
Dr. Mark Paulissen, Professor of Biology, Department of Natural Science at Northeastern State University
Dr. Suneeti Jog
Originating Calendar
INHS Events

Zoom URL:  https://illinois.zoom.us/j/84599303194?pwd=RDFOc2hDckxmaURDS2l1dVFEcnYzUT09&from=addon
Meeting ID: 845 9930 3194 | Password: 791049

Up until the end of the last century, reptiles were considered to possess only limited capacity for learning and thus were presumed to rely almost exclusively on “innate” behaviors.  However, studies published in the last 25 years have shown that lizards, snakes, turtles, and crocodilians actually have well-developed cognitive abilities that are useful in ecologically relevant contexts. For example, many studies have shown that lizards are capable of learning the locations of escape retreats when subjected to simulated predatory attacks. Recently, researchers have focused on the processes involved in learning, including what cues lizards use to learn to escape to a retreat. In this seminar, I will review past work on spatial learning by the Little Brown Skink Lizard, Scincella lateralis, and report on recent studies that suggest that learning in lizards is influenced by sensory biases that are shaped by this species’ environment.

link for robots only