Collective Behaviour - Summer Seminar Series 2023
Hide and seek: understanding search behaviour in ecological contexts
Dr. Anna Hughes, University of Essex
I am interested in how humans and other animals perceive the world and how they use this information to make decisions. In this talk, I will discuss two recent projects that encompass the range of methods I use in my work. I will start by discussing motion dazzle, the hypothesis that certain types of patterns found in nature, such as high contrast stripes found on zebra, can cause misperceptions in the speed and direction perception processes of an observer (such as a predator). I will discuss work using psychophysics and an evolutionary game that suggest that stripes may be able to cause direction biases, but may not be an optimal camouflage type when in motion. I will then discuss recent work on foraging behaviour, where humans or other animals search for multiple targets sequentially, and will explain how formulating mathematical models can help us understand the cognitive processes underlying behaviour.
Anna Hughes completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge, and then worked at University College London and at the University of Exeter. She joined the University of Essex as a Lecturer in 2020. Anna is interested in how humans and other animals perceive the world and how they use this information to make decisions, and take an interdisciplinary approach in my research, combining psychology and biology.