Meeting Abstract

S6-1  Friday, Jan. 6 08:00 - 08:30  Understanding receiver biases in reproductive contexts LYNCH, Kathleen S.; Hofstra University

Biases in female mate choice have been categorized as either belonging to sensory or learning-based biases. Historically, only learning-based biases have been considered to exhibit plasticity. It is now widely demonstrated, however, that sensory biases display substantial plasticity across all sensory modalities and nearly every taxonomic group. In addition, cognitive processes other than learning also affect mate choice, including attention, memorability and categorization. Furthermore, social behaviors including mate choice are not simply a product of sensory or cognitive processing but also include motivational and emotional processes as well. Thus, there are a number of critical ways in which we can better define the biases and processes that underlie mate choice decision making. Moreover, plasticity in sensory systems can be regulated by neuromodulators involved in cognitive, motivational and emotional regulation and plasticity in cognitive components also occurs with these same neuromodulators. Therefore, each of these underlying components (i.e. cognitive, sensory, motivational and emotional) can be functionally linked via neuromodulator actions. Thus, understanding mate choice based on acoustic signals requires integration of all components underlying mate choice and the neuromodulators that regulate and link these components together. This presentation will explore common themes in the integrative biology of cognitive, motivational, and sensory biases of mate choice across taxa. The aim of this presentation and our symposium is to build a new foundation in which to understand these processes not as modular systems but as a set of interacting processes that function together in a mate choice decision context and to identify future research directions in this interdisciplinary area of integrative biology.