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Lecturer’s name: Adam Miklósi Position: professor Organisation

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Lecturer’s name: Adam Miklósi
Position: professor
Organisation: Dept. of Ethology, Eötvös University
Address: Pázmány P. s 1c, BUDAPEST, Hungary 1117
e-mail address:
Homepage: www.

Title of the course: Cognitive Ethology

Detailed syllabus of the course, with topics addressed in each 90 minutes lecture (less than 2 pages):
DAY 1. Introduction to cognitive ethology

Darwinian evolution, Epigenesis

Classical ethology, innateness, behavioural models

Tinbergen's 4 questions, Cognitive ethology

Comparative cognition
DAY 2. Ecological and Social Cognition (Problem solving)

Approaches to learning and cognition, measuring intelligence

Forms of associative learning, Operant conditioning

Spatial cognition and orientation

Cognitive maps, causal understanding, tool use

Social cognition, Intentionality, Attention

Social cognition

DAY 3. Ethology of communication

Definition, ethological approach

Levels of communication

Adaptation and communication, evolution of communicative signals

Mating signals, bird song

Alarm signals, functional referentiality

Manipulation of information, communication networks

Language training with animals, evolution of language

DAY 4. Social learning, traditions, teaching

Definitions and categories

Adaptivity and social learning

Laboratory models of social learning, mechanisms in social learning

Neuronal mechanisms, mirror neurons

Evolutionary aspects, teaching , pedagogy

Traditions and culture
DAY 5. Consultation, written exam

Background information on the web (optional):

Short CV (less than half page):

Personal information:

Name: MIKLÓSI, Ádám

Place and date of Birth: Budapest, 25 September, 1962

Nationality: Hungarian

Profession: Biologist

1981-1986 Eötvös L. University (Budapest, Hungary)

MSc degree in Biology

    1. Research scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences,

work at the Dep. of Ethology

1989-1996 Research assistant at the Department of Ethology

1996-2000 Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Dept. of Ethology

2000- Associate professor

2006- Professor and Head of Department


M.Sc. at Eötvös University of Budapest (1983)

Thesis: Quantitative analysis of preda­tor avoidance in the paradise fish

(Macropodus opercularis).

Candidate of Biology (PhD), Hungarian Academy of Scien­ces (1995)

Thesis: Analysis of learning in the paradise fish

Doctor of Science (DSc), Hungarian Academy of Scien­ces (2005)

Thesis: Representational models of the living environment:

An ethological approach

Research grants:

1991-1994 research grant "For the study of the use of ethological and psychological methods in behavioural genetics" (principal investigator)

1994-1998 The dog as a model for social evolution (participant)

1999-2002 Investigation of social intelligence in dogs, (participant)

2003-2006 The dog as a model for human personality

2005-2008 EU FP-6-NEST: Evolution of referential communication (participant)

2005-2008 Social learning in dogs (principal investigator)

2008-2012 EU FP 7 Living with Interactive Companions

2012-2016 Comparative Ethology Research Group

Important publications (5-10):

Miklósi, Á. 1999. The ethological analysis of imitation. Biological Review, 74, 347-374.

Pongrácz, P., Miklósi, Á., Kubinyi, E., Gurobi, K., Topál, J., Csányi, V. 2001. Social learning in dogs I. The effect of a human demonstrator on the performance of dogs (Canis familiaris) in a detour task. Animal Behaviour, 62, 1109-1117.

Miklósi, A, Kubinyi E, Topál, J, Gácsi, M., Virányi, Zs., Csányi, V. 2003. A simple reason for a big difference: wolves do not look back at humans but dogs do. Current Biology, 13, 763-766.

Topál, J., Miklósi, Á., Gácsi, M., Dóka, A., Pongrácz, P., Kubinyi, E., Virányi Zs., Csányi, V. 2009. The dog as a model for understanding human social behavior. Advances in the Study of Animal Behaviour, 39: 71-116.

Byrne, R.W., Barnard, P.J., Davidson, I., Janik, V.M., McGrew, M.C., Miklósi, Á., Wiessner, P. 2004. Understanding culture across species. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8, 341-346.

Miklósi, Á 2007. Dog behaviour, evolution, cognition. Oxford University Press.

Topál, J., Gergely, Gy., Erdőhegyi, Á., Csibra, G., Miklósi, Á. 2009. Differential sensitivity to human communication in dogs, wolves, and human infants. Science, 325, 1269-1272.

Faragó, T., Pongrácz, P., Miklósi, Á., Huber, L., ; Virányi, Zs., Range, F. (2010) Dogs' expectation about signalers' body size by virtue of their growls. PLOS ONE 5 (12): e15175.

Anything else (course requirements, readings list, etc):
The course material will be provided in form of Power Point print outs.
Topics are based on chapters found in the following book:

Shettleworth, S. 1998. Cognition, Evolution and Behaviour (see chapters provided)

Suggested further reading:

Byrne R. 1985. The thinking ape

Davey, Ecological learning theory

Miklósi, Á 2007. Dog behaviour, evolution, cognition. Oxford University Press.

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