The Pheasant Ecology and Cognition (PEC) group is run by Dr Joah Madden at the Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour in the University of Exeter, Streatham campus. We are seeking to understand how natural selection and evolution act on underlying, general cognitive processes such as learning, memory or executive control, which shape specific behaviours in wild-living animals?
We tackle this question using a novel study system, the ring-necked pheasant Phasianus colchicus.
1. How do individuals differ in their performance on psychometric tests?
2. What are the fitness consequences of such differences?
3. What factors affect the inheritance and expression of individual cognitive performance?
This project is funded by an ERC Consolidator Award to Dr Joah Madden