Laboratory of Compared Ethology and Cognition - Presentation


The general framework of our research unit is the study of animal behavior, and in particular, communication and reproduction of birds; we establish a link between these two problems by undertaking research relating to the influence of vocal communication on reproduction.

Two principal topics merge the research themes of all the members of the Laboratory.

  • On the one hand, the study of information transmission and communication, social and cognitive contexts :

Vocal communication in passerine birds
(L. Nagle, E. Vallet, T. Draganoiu, S. Derégnaucourt)  
Use of public information in domestic canaries and pigeons
(G. Leboucher, D. Bovet, Amy Mathieu, A. Belguermi)
Communication and cognitive competences in grey parrots and budgerigars
(M. Kreutzer , L. Nagle, D. Bovet, M. Lalot)
Human speech
(F. Hallé)

  • And on the other hand, the study of parental investment and reproductive success of the bird :

Parental investissement, maternal effects, reproductive succes
(G. Leboucher, D. Ung)
Social environnement, reproductive strategies and reproductive succes
(M. KreutzerL. Nagle, N. Béguin)
  • Transversally to these topics, we take part in a multidisciplinary project about urban feral pigeons "Le pigeon en ville: Ecologie de la réconciliation et biodiversité urbaine". This project integrates studies from ecological, ethological and anthropological perspectives to explore pigeons' behavioural and physiological adaptations to urban life and their perception by city dwellers.
(G. Leboucher, D. Bovet, A. Belguermi)

For several years we have established collaborations which have allowed us to extend our work towards questions where the know-how of other was necessary.


  •  With Professor Manfred Gahr (The Max Planck Institute, Seewiesen, Germany, then University of Amsterdam, the Nederlands) we have collaborated for 10 years in the field of the neuroanatomy and electrophysiology.

  •  With Professor Roderick Suthers (University of Bloomington, Indiana, the USA) we have studied, since 1998, how driving constraints determine the use of the vocal bodies at the time of bird song production.

  •  Since 1995, we have worked in close cooperation with Irina Beme, Professor at the university of Moscow, studying the influence of social condition on the vocal production of cock birds.

  •  Since 2003, bilateral exchanges with the team of Professor Paulo Gama Mota (University of Coimbra, Portugal) allow us to study bird song as a factor of regulation of social life during reproduction in two species of birds phylogenetically close, the canary and the canary cini.

These collaborations are carried out within the structure of contracts, bilateral missions, co-supervisions of theses, invitations of professors by means of University Université Paris Nanterre financing or within the structure of conventions between Universities.

Updated on 18 novembre 2016