You are here

Contributions of Perception, Learning, and Memory to Animal Movement

Dr. Bill Fagan
University of Maryland | Department of Biology
Seminar date:
Monday, October 17, 2022 - 12:00 to 13:00
HCK 132

Explosive growth in the availability of animal movement tracking data is providing
unprecedented opportunities for investigating the linkages between behavior and
ecology over large spatial scales. Cognitive movement ecology brings together
aspects of animal cognition (perception, learning, and memory) to understand how
animals’ context and experience influence movement and space use, affording
insights into encounters, territoriality, migration, and biogeography, among many
other topics.
Perception—the acquisition and interpretation of information through sensory
mechanisms—is critical to how animals interact with and respond to their worlds,
and is fundamentally non-local in character. Learning, when defined from a
psychological perspective, emphasizes information acquisition via experience, and
when defined from a task-based perspective, emphasizes improved performance
through repetition. Studies of animal movement afford opportunities for exploring
the roles of both information acquisition and repetition in navigational tasks.
Memory, often defined as the acquisition, encoding, storage, and retrieval of
information, provides a platform for informed decision-making with regard to
movement. Ongoing efforts emphasize the co-evolution of cognitive and
movement capacities, the inference of memory use from movement patterns, and
the role of movement behavior in shaping memory.
Dr. Fagan will share results from empirical and theoretical investigations of perception,
learning, and memory in the context of animal movement. Key findings, drawn
from a variety of systems and approaches, will 1) outline the role of perception
(including context-dependent changes in behavior mediated by perception) for
enhanced resource acquisition, and 2) discuss contributions of repetition and/or
social context for route following, pattern formation, and space use.

Flyer: People:
Fields of interest: