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Squeaks and Scents: Towards the Neurobiology of Animal Social Communication

Thursday, December 1, 2011 @ 7:00 PM-8:30 PM

Featured Speaker: Featured Speaker: Timothy E. Holy, Ph.D., 2009 Outstanding St. Louis Scientist Innovation Award recipient, Academy of Science – St. Louis; Associate Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine

Communication—whether spoken with words, signed with gestures, written on paper, or sent via email—is perhaps humanity’s greatest asset, the ability that underlies our culture and technology. While exceptionally refined in humans, communication is also common among animals: it allows them to organize and tackle challenges too daunting for an individual, or to find each other when it is time to reproduce. In attempting to understand animal communication, we are confronted by fundamental questions: What are the signals? What do they convey? How are they produced? And—perhaps the greatest mystery of all—how does the brain interpret these signals and use them to guide behavior?

Some scientists hope that studies of social communication in animals may lead to a better appreciation of the natural world and of the brain itself. Washington University neurobiologist, Dr. Timothy Holy gives us the inside scoop on the neurobiology of animal social communication, with an emphasis on two examples of communication among mice: chemical signals often called pheromones, and “courtship songs” sung at frequencies too high to be detected by human ears.

STUDENT OPPORTUNITES TO COMPETE FOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS— two $250 scholarships for middle and high school students. Attend 3 – 4 seminars or panel discussions and write about your experience. Scholarship decisions announced in May 2011.

DRAWINGS FOR TWO FREE JUNIOR SCIENCE ACADEMY MEMBERSHIPS at each Pioneering Science Seminar. Junior Academy of Science— Real-world science opportunities and field trips monthly— for students of all abilities in grades 6 – 12.

Location: Kirkwood High School Keating Theater, 801 West Essex,
Kirkwood, MO 63122

FREE parking in Kirkwood High School lots.

FREE and OPEN to ALL—middle and high school students, teachers, adults and the general public. Registration not required.

Pioneering Science Series co-sponsor:


Thursday, December 1, 2011
7:00 PM-8:30 PM
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