People

galef.jpg(Ph.D., Pennsylvania)
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905-525-9140, Ext. 23017

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My students and I have been studying the role of social learning in development of adaptive patterns of behaviour in animals as diverse as Norway rats and Japanese quail. The results of our experiments provide evidence of an important role for social learning in development of behavioural repertoires. Such evidence is important because, in the endless arguments over whether instinct or individual learning guides development of behaviour in adaptive directions, the possibility that animals might learn what to do as a result of interaction with more experienced conspecifics was ignored. We have been kept busy filling the gaps both providing evidence that, for example, animals can learn where to eat, what to eat, and when to eat from their fellows, and analyzing behavioural and sensory processes supporting such social learning.

Dr. Galef is a Fellow of both the Canadian and American Psychological Associations as well as the American Psychological Society, Animal Behavior Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is co-founder, and was, for 8 years, co-organizer of the Winter Animal Behavior Conferences. Dr. Galef was a member of the boards of directors of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology, the Animal Behavior Society and the McMaster Museum of Art, and has served on the editorial boards of 12 journals including the Journal of Comparative Psychology and Animal Behaviour of which he was Executive Editor from 1998 to 2001. He has co-edited three books (Social Learning in Animals: the Roots of Culture, Social Learning : Psychological and Biological Perspectivesand Behavioral Aspects of Feeding) and two special issues of journals. He is the author of more than 250 published papers. Dr. Galef has been a Visiting Professor in Panama, Israel, Australia and the United States and is currently Emeritus Professor of Psychology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and President of the Animal; Behavior Society.  

 

Contact Department

Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (PNB)
Psychology Building (PC), Room 102
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton Ontario L8S 4K1
Canada