Behavior across the tree of life

Organizers

Joram Keijser | Technical University Berlin, Germany
Manuel Molano | Centre de Recerca Matemàtica, Spain
Gily Ginosar | Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Abstract

While modern neuroscience has made significant advances in understanding the neurobiological basis of behavior, many of these findings have been limited to a narrow set of model organisms performing laboratory tasks. However, behavior has evolved across different species and under various environmental conditions, presenting a wealth of insights into the underlying neural mechanisms of natural behaviors. In this workshop, we propose a comparative approach that looks at behaviors across different phylogenetic branches, from bats to naked mole rats to elephants. By examining the similarities and differences of behaviors in these species, we can gain a deeper understanding of the neurobiological basis of behavior and the evolution of neural circuits across different lineages. Our goal is to bring together neuroscientists who study ecologically-relevant behaviors in a range of species, providing a broader perspective on behavior. We believe that this approach will inspire new ways of thinking about behavior and the brain within the computational neuroscience community.

Schedule (CEST)

Tuesday, Sept 26

14:00

Introduction
Joram Keijser, Manuel Molano, Gily Ginosar

The building blocks of behavior

14:10

Andres Bendesky | Columbia University, USA
Genetic causes and behavioral consequences of an evolutionarily novel adrenal cell type

14:40

Joram Keijser | Technical University Berlin, Germany
Interneuron diversity: Evolution vs optimization

15:00

Viola Priesemann | Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organisation, Germany
Emergence of long timescales via homeostatic feedback – in collective cortical and societal dynamics

15:30

Mini introduction

Vocal communication across vertebrates

15:40

Ralph Peterson | New York University, USA
Unsupervised discovery of family specific vocal usage in the Mongolian gerbil

16:00

30 min coffee break

16:30

Alison Barker | Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Germany
Linking communication and cooperation – lessons from an eusocial rodent

17:00

Benjamin Judkewitz | Charité, Germany
The smallest vertebrate brain knows how to sing

17:30

Mini introduction

Navigation – spatial perception in bats and birds

17:35

Gily Ginosar | Weizmann Institute of Science, Isreal
Coding of action by position in the entorhinal cortex of flying bats

17:55

Hannah Payne | Columbia University, USA
Neural representations of place and gaze in the hippocampus of food-caching birds

18:15

Discussion

18:30

End of first day

Wednesday, Sept 27

09:00

Mini introduction

Embodied cognition from cuttlefish to elephants

09:10

Lena Kaufmann | Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience Berlin, Germany
From trunks to brains: Elephant behavior and neurobiology 

09:30

Theodosia Woo | Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Germany
The dynamics of pattern matching in camouflaging cuttlefish

10:00

30 min coffee break

10:30

Mini introduction

Learning across multiple scales

10:35

Iain Couzin | Max Planck Institute of Animal Behaviour, Germany
TBA

11:15

Omri Barak | Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
Learning as a unifying concept in biology

11:45

Manuel Molano | Centre de Recerca Matemàtica, Spain
RNNs endowed with priors learn ecologically relevant strategies

12:05

Discussion

12:30

End