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

February 17, 2019
Feb 17: 9:00am - 6:00pm Feb 18: 9:00am - 6:00pm


Feb 17: Jerome L. Greene Science Center, Room L3-079 Feb 18: TBD

Event Type: 

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.

Learn more at the Columbia University Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience

February 17, 2019, 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Jerome L. Greene Science Center, Room L3-079, 3227 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

February 18, 2019, 9:00 - 6:00 PM
Exact location will be confirmed as soon as possible

This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration will be required. To sign up to receive updates about the conference, please send an email to


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