SICB Annual Meeting 2015
January 3-7, 2015
West Palm Beach, FL

Symposium: Thinking About Change: An Integrative Approach for Examining Cognition in a Changing World

We live in a changing world. Whether natural or exacerbated by human-induced factors, our climate is in a state of constant fluctuation. One important aspect of this change in climate is a tendency towards extremes - extremes in temperature and moisture, both within and among years. We know that animals living in extreme environments have a suite of adaptations to cope with such conditions. Indeed, numerous studies focus on the physiological consequences of climate change, especially in terms of potential habitat use and the thermal regime. For many species, though, cognitive responses are often considered as an initial, plastic response to perturbation. However, the effects of environmental change on the general mechanisms of cognitive processes and their implications for larger phenomena are a seldom examined aspect of the response to climate change. For example, we have yet to fully understand how invasive species occupying human-modified areas recognize novel prey and/or predators. We do not know how rapidly changing climates might affect demands on spatial memory or cognitive ability in food caching animals. We do not know the importance of learning as a mechanism to cope with changing environmental conditions in long vs. short lived species. Moreover, at a larger scale, we do not understand which features of the environment select for these cognitive enhancements or their mechanisms. Understanding the long-term consequences of cognitive-based phenomena is particularly important for our understanding of the evolution of cognition and the conservation of species living in changing environments, especially as many climatic features are changing more rapidly than ever before.

This symposium will explore the future of our understanding of 1) how animals use cognition to cope with such rapid environmental change, 2) how such coping mechanisms "scale up" to affect ecological/evolutionary patterns, 3) how we might determine which features of the environment have been most important for the evolution of cognition, and 4) which of these features may become important with future climate change. Overall, understanding how animals respond to climate change at a cognitive level might reveal important and unknown aspects of how selection works in harsh or variable environments and give us a more complete picture of the future of animal populations in our changing world.

Sponsors: DAB, DCE, DEE



S6.1 Monday, Jan. 5, 08:00 ROTH, TC*; NEMETH, Z: Thinking about change: an integrative approach for examining cognition in a changing world

S6.2 Monday, Jan. 5, 08:30 PRAVOSUDOV, V. V.: Climate related variation in spatial memory and the hippocampus – what are the mechanisms of population-level differences?

S6.3 Monday, Jan. 5, 09:00 LADAGE, L.D.: The relationship between hippocampal neurogenesis, stress, and aspects of environmental change

S6.4 Monday, Jan. 5, 09:30 SEWALL, KB*; ANDERSON, RC; PETERS, S; NOWICKI, S; ROTH, T: Social complexity as a driver of communication and cognition

S6.5 Monday, Jan. 5, 10:30 GONZALEZ-GOMEZ, P.; ARAYA-SALAS, M.: Cognitive abilities and environmental heterogeneity: A relation mediated by energy?

S6.6 Monday, Jan. 5, 11:00 DUNLAP, Aimee S.*; HORACK, Patricia; MAHARAJ, Gyanpriya; YODER, Marisa: Tracking a changing environment: reliability, certainty, and foraging bumblebees

S6.7 Monday, Jan. 5, 11:30 MARTIN, LB*; LIEBL, AL: The role of glucocorticoids on range expansion behaviors in Kenyan house sparrows

S6.8 Monday, Jan. 5, 13:30 PUTMAN, N.F.: The role of geomagnetic change on the ecology and evolution of magnetic navigation systems in animals

S6.9 Monday, Jan. 5, 14:00 FOSTER, Susan A: Evolutionary Origins of Plastic Behavioral Responses to Environmental Challenges in the Adaptive Radiation of the Threespine Stickleback Fish

S6.10 Monday, Jan. 5, 14:30 SWADDLE, J P*; KIGHT, C R: Noise pollution and understanding song in anthropogenic environments

S6.11 Monday, Jan. 5, 15:00 KROCHMAL, A.R*; ROTH, T.C.: Climate Change, Conservation, and Cognition: An Integrative Approach to Conserving Biodiversity in a Changing World