2016.11.04. Opening quantitative windows into the minds of dolphins

2019-07-07 00:37:13 0



题 目: Opening quantitative windows into the minds of dolphins

报告人: Prof. Marcelo O. Magnasco

Laboratory of Integrative Neuroscience, Center for Studies in Physics and Biology, The Rockefeller University.

时 间: 2016年11月04日10:00-11:00

地 点: 北京大学老化学楼东配楼101报告厅

主持人: 汤超 教授

摘 要:

From bacteria to humans, communication is ubiquitous among all living beings. Our understanding of the complexity of nonhuman communication has greatly evolved, from assuming it to be a primitive, small discrete set of semaphoric signals, to demonstrating the richness of many communication modes. For example, the waggle dance of the bees, used to communicate the location of food sources, is a functionally continuous, multidimensional signaling mechanism. Communication among mammals, unsurprisingly, is vastly more complex, with very nuanced semantics, and has a central role in the complex social organization of many species. Within this panorama, vocal communication has been the target of much scrutiny, as the number of species that possess vocal learning is quite limited within the animal kingdom. Dolphins are vocal learners, great vocal mimics, and effusively vocalize while in social groups. Despite intense effort to unravel the code of dolphin communication, comparably little has been elucidated about it. A central obstacle towards this goal is the ability to provide large corpora of vocalizations that are unambiguously attributed to a given dolphin and linked to their behavioral context. I will be describing our efforts to generate the technological means through which to generate such corpora, and to mine them to “crack” the code of dolphin vocal communication. both in aquarium settings as well as field studies in the wild.


Marcelo O. Magnasco received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago in 1991. Then he joined the Rockefeller University as a postdoc, assistant professor, associated professor and professor in turn. Dr. Magnasco’s group uses living beings as a source of inspiration for creating new mathematical descriptions of nature. The lab’s main focus is on computational and experimental neurophysiology, primarily auditory function but also touching on vision, memory, olfaction, and other sensory processing, as well as studies of dolphin communication in aquaria and in the wild.