Research Seminar: Dr Neeltje Boogert - University of Exeter
Dr Neeltje Boogert hosted by Dr James Herbert-Read
Life Sciences Seminar Room G13/G14
Effects of developmental stress on learning strategies
The use of information provided by others is a common short-cut adopted to inform decision-making. However, instead of indiscriminately copying others, animals are often selective in what, when and whom they copy. How do they decide which ‘social learning strategy’ to use? My research suggests that stress hormone exposure early in life may be important. While developmental stress is often thought to hamper cognitive performance, I will argue that ecologically relevant levels of early-life stress may instead determine how individuals balance the use of different sources of information. Furthermore, early-life stress can also induce changes in individuals’ social environment, which in turn can affect access to information sources and subsequent information use. I will argue that an information use approach may lead to different insights concerning individuals’ cognitive performance than one in which individuals are ranked based on their perceived 'intelligence'.
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