Collective Behaviour - Summer Seminar Series 2024

“Learning a guess from a guess”, foraging macaques adjust to the environment’s temporal and spatial structure

Dr. Neda Shahidi, University of Göttingen, Germany


Studying animals’ foraging behaviour provides critical insights into decision-making under uncertain, ambiguous, or volatile conditions. Specifically, in the absence of sensory cues, animals’ income from random sampling guides them for the future. In two recent studies on temporal (Shahidi et al, Nature Neuroscience, 2024) and spatial (Shahidi et al, in preparation) foraging in free-roaming macaques, I am providing evidence that a random searcher infers relevant latent variables and use them to choose when and where to search.

Neda Shahidi leads the Early Career Research Group at the University of Göttingen, where she investigates neural correlates of vigilance in humans and macaques. Previously, she was a post-doc scientist at the German Primates Center and the university medical center, Göttingen. She received her Ph.D. in neurosciences from the University of Texas at Houston, focusing on neural correlates of decision-making in macaques.

Affiliations: Georg-Elias-Müller-Institute for Psychology, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, German Primate Center, Göttingen, Germany

Datum: 2024-06-24