Event Abstract

Neuro-Ethology: Evolution and ontogeny of motor control.

  • 1 University of California San Diego, Neurobiology, United States

The point of the spelling (Neuro-Ethology) is that ethologists, historically, list four pillars that are necessary for a true understanding of behavior: causation (the neural basis of behavioral acts), development, survival value, and evolution. I consider survival value to be a mechanism of evolution, but evolution and development often do not get central attention from Neuroethologists interested in causation. I will give examples to show that studying behavior can give substance to studies of evolution and development, and also that paying attention to evolution and ontogeny can aid in understanding the neural basis of behavior.


This work was supported by research grants from NIH (MH43396, and NS35336), NSF (IOB-0523959), Microsoft Research, and Richard Geckler. Thanks to all the labs members and collaborators over the years; they have made doing science both stimulating and fun.

Keywords: behavioral choice, causation, Decision Making, development, evolution, feeding, mechanosensory neurons, survival value

Conference: Tenth International Congress of Neuroethology, College Park. Maryland USA, United States, 5 Aug - 10 Aug, 2012.

Presentation Type: Invited Symposium (only for people who have been invited to a particular symposium)

Topic: Sensorimotor Integration

Citation: Kristan WB (2012). Neuro-Ethology: Evolution and ontogeny of motor control.. Conference Abstract: Tenth International Congress of Neuroethology. doi: 10.3389/conf.fnbeh.2012.27.00059

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Received: 03 May 2012; Published Online: 07 Jul 2012.

* Correspondence: Prof. William B Kristan, University of California San Diego, Neurobiology, San Diego, United States, wkristan@ucsd.edu