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The Transmission of Songs in Birds, Humans, and Other Animals

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64 Morningside Drive

New York, NY 10027

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Songs are learned beginning in infancy and seem to exist in most human cultures. Song-like behaviors also characterize the lives of certain nonhuman animals, such as songbirds and whales, where vocal traditions also persist and change across generations via various modes of transmission. How are songs shaped by the ways in which they are acquired, and what methods are available to study these processes?

This conference will provide a venue for examining cultural transmission from diverse perspectives within the social and natural sciences as well as the humanities. While focusing on songs in humans and birds, a wide range of social behaviors, including gesture and language, will also be considered. The conference will explore ‘song’ in relation to social memory; the conditions which make cultural transmission possible; the role of aesthetics in the generational turnover of learned behaviors across species; and the social ecologies in which songs are created and recreated.

This academic conference is free and open to the public, but RSVP is required via Eventbrite.

For a list of confirmed speakers, conference schedule, and additional information, please visit the Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience website.

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Faculty House

64 Morningside Drive

New York, NY 10027

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