Personality & cognitive variation
John Quinn, from University College Cork, Ireland, will give a talk about "The adaptive significance of personality and cognitive variation".
Why individuals vary in their so-called personalities and cognitive abilities has been the subject of considerable debate in recent years. Specifically the relative importance of adaptive processes and phenotypic plasticity in driving this variation remains unclear. Here I report on recent research on the great tit in Wytham Wood, Oxford, where exploration behaviour and problem solving perfor-mance have been assayed in large numbers of individuals. I will explore a variety of proximate causes of variation in these traits, examine their functional significance in the wild, and ask what if any consequences these traits have for populations.