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Sensory Perception and Social Behavior

Grant number: 23/13004-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2024
Effective date (End): February 28, 2025
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Experimental Psychology
Principal Investigator:Patrícia Ferreira Monticelli
Grantee:Paula Verzola Olivio
Supervisor: Nora H Prior
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Research place: Cornell University, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:21/13186-1 - It takes two to tango: female role in guinea pig courtship displays, BP.PD


My postdoctoral research project is investigating whether the variation in guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) courtship display is a result of male behavioral adjustment in response to female behavior. Previous results indicate that the courtship call could be the most important component of the display since it is exhibited for a longer time than other elements (rumba and multimodal exhibitions) during the pairing sessions. From this, arises the question of how auditory perception and vocalizations are regulated at the behavioral and neural levels and what is their importance during courtship interactions. The current BEPE proposal aims to participate in behavioral and neurobiology research to learn cutting techniques that can be applied to my main postdoctoral research. During the internship, I will participate in data collect and analyses of two projects investigating the role of dopamine in pair formation and maintenance in zebra finches (Taenopygia guttata). Zebra finches are a common study system for different behavioral approaches, including sensory perception and social behavior. They are a good fit for my research since songbirds are known for their extensive use of acoustic communication in social interactions. As guinea pig has a large acoustic repertoire and it is not a model species for studying the relationship between sensory perception and social behavior, I looked for a study system with a similar behavioral phenotype. The knowledge acquired in the internship will be transferred to my project through the design of a new experiment that can investigate how the vocalizations emitted by males and females during the courtship display can influence the behavioral change of individuals.

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