Quantitative approaches to behavior

Sep 15, 2017, 9:30 am9:30 am
The Graduate Center, CUNY. Room 9204/5


Event Description

Dynamic acoustic communication in flies
Mala Murthy, Princeton University

Songbirds learn vocal sequences within a rhythmic framework
Ofer Tchernikovski, Hunter College and The Graduate Center, CUNY

Capturing the continuous complexity of natural behavior in C elegans
Greg Stephens, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and OIST

Understanding the world collectively
Gonzalo Polavieja, Champalimaud Institute

The first thing that fascinates us about life is the macroscopic behavior of organisms. The effort to characterize this behavior quantitatively goes back to the 1800s, in studies of the relationship between physical signals and human perception of these signals, a subject which came to be called “psychophysics.” Progress in this approach depends on simplifying behavior, often reducing it to a choice among a handful of alternatives. In contrast, the etholoigsts developed a rich, qualitative description of more complex behaviors in their natural context. The last decade has seen an explosion of interest in quantitive approaches to these real world behaviors, taming their complexity through more powerful measurements and analyses. This symposium will explore our progress toward a physics of behavior, with examples drawn from many different systems.

  • Initiative for the Theoretical Sciences (ITS)
  • CUNY doctoral programs in Physics and Biology