Animal Cognitive Ecology

Basic course information

Type: Special lecture series (Spezialvorlesung)

First Lecture:    

Lecture times:  


Exam date:         

Exam type:       




Credit points:   



For the University LSF page click here

Course powerpoints can be found here  

Thursday 26 October 08:30

Mondays 17:00 - 19:00

Thursdays 08:30 - 10:00




Dr. Tomer Czaczkes     

Prof. Dr. Konstanze Krüger



In this lecture series we will explore the advanced cognitive abilities of animals – how they learn, reason, think, and interact mentally with the world. The course focuses on assessing animal cognition via behavioural experimentation, and on understanding how animals use their cognitive abilities to adapt themselves to their ecological surroundings.


Some of the topics covered in the course include:

  • Memory and learning, including social learning

  • Perception, including sensory drugging and comparative psychology

  • Advanced cognition, including conceptual learning, metacognition, tool use, and self-awareness

  • Navigation and route learning

  • Collective cognition and group decision making


 Some of the topics covered are touched upon by the Ethology and Neurobiology lecture series, but no specific knowledge is expected or assumed.

The course, and the examination at the end, are in English.

Downloadable lecture presentations

Click on a lecture to download the presentation.

Note: presentations will be updated after the lecture. Presentations online before the lecture are from last year, and may be outdated.

For some users, the files are downloaded without the suffix (pptx). If your file does not open, try adding ".pptx" to the file name.

Lecture 1 - Basic learning (TC)

Lecture 2 - Collective decision making in vertebrates (KK)
Lecture 3 - Decision making and value judgement (TC)

Lecture 4 - Perception psychology 1 (KK)

Lecture 5 - Advanced Cognition (TC)

Lecture 6 - Perception psychology 2 (KK)

Lecture 7 - Collective decision making in invertebrates (TC)

Lecture 8 - Social learning and innovation (KK)

Lecture 9 - Navigation in Insects (TC)

Lecture 10 - Conflict resolution (KK)

Prof. Krueger lectures - outline and summary