Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #440
CE Offered: PSY

Self-Recognition in an Ecological Context: Lessons From Avian Host-Parasite Interactions

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Grand Ballroom AB, Hyatt Regency, Gold East
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Mark Hauber, Ph.D.
Chair: Elizabeth Kyonka (West Virginia University)
MARK HAUBER (Hunter College, City University of New York)
Dr. Mark E. Hauber is professor and director of the Animal Behavior and Conservation program in the Department of Psychology at Hunter College of the City University of New York. He is a native of Hungary, a graduate of Yale and Cornell Universities, and received postdoctoral training as a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley. Previously Mark taught at the University of Auckland's School of Biological Sciences. A recipient of NSF and Human Frontier Science grants, Dr. Hauber has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles, and penned the University of Chicago Press' The Book of Eggs (2014).

The development of the recognition of self-like individuals, including relatives and conspecifics, often relies on critical experience with parents, siblings, and other predictable referents during early life. For example, in birds, exposure to conspecifics in the nest reliably cues species-recognition for flocking and mating. How then so brood parasitic birds, that lay their eggs in other species' nest, develop conspecific referents when raised by foster parents? And how do hosts recognize and reject foreign eggs and chicks in the nest if they have not yet laid a clutch before? The presenter’s research focuses on the experimental analysis of self-recognition in both parasites and hosts through phenotypic manipulation of the available cues for species recognition during development. The results reveal how a long-hypothesized mechanism, namely self-referenced phenotype matching, enables the evolution of brood parasitism in birds, and perhaps contributes to the ecological flexibility of recognition systems under socially unpredictable conditions in general.

Target Audience:

Licensed Psychologists

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: (1) define the terms "conspecific" and "heterospecific"; (2) name at least two species of brood parasitic birds; (3) state at least two parallels between the reproductive and communicative behaviors of birds and humans.



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