** Website under construction **
The aim of the new Cognition, Behavior, and Ecology (CoBE) lab @UGent is to provide novel insights in an age-old problem, namely how and why organisms differ in their ability to control their behavior in complex social and physical environments.
To address these different questions, we use both lab-based experimental approaches (in humans) and a–for the response-inhibition and executive-control fields–novel ‘eco-devo’ approach. This involves expanding research beyond standardized laboratory conditions, studying the behavior in various (complex) environments in which development can occur. At a theoretical level, this implies that we study the principles underlying the development of control abilities in response to different environmental pressures. At a methodological level, our approach implies that we will capitalize on more ecologically-valid tasks and that we use a new set of toolboxes from animal research. Specifically, we use avian models to uniquely ‘engineer’ endophenotypes via experimental and theory-driven manipulation of pre- and post-natal environments. Some of these species are then released in the wild to study their behavior in complex environments as a function of previous experiences.
Examples of tasks and procedures: