Sensory and cognitive adaptations in butterfly brains

Thursday 24 January 2019, 1.00PM

Speaker(s): Dr Stephen Montgomery, University of Cambridge

Behavioral evolution is produced by changes in the structure or function of the nervous system. Like any phenotype, brain evolution is shaped by interactions between selection and constraints acting at different biological levels; from the ecological to the molecular. In this talk I will explore how ecological selection pressures shape brain composition in butterflies.

I will highlight examples of neuroanatomical adaptations linked to taxon-differences in sensory and foraging ecology that suggest an underlying phylogenetic malleability of brain structure. Finally, I will discuss our on-going attempts to understand both the behavioural importance and developmental origins of these adaptations.

Location: K018