Kusuma Anand recently presented her thesis research at the 53rd annual meeting of the Animal Behavior Society, in Columbia, Missouri.
As an MS student in the Department of Biology, Anand
has been studying the importance of stimulus valence to the speed and form of
discrimination learning. Under the
direction of Paul Nealen, Anand uses operant techniques to train zebra
finches to perform auditory discrimination. Her work demonstrates clearly that stimulus-associated food rewards speed
learning, suggesting that behavioral valence contributes to neural mechanisms
of reinforcement. Her current research
efforts are focused on clarifying the independent contributions of behavioral
reward and response form to these findings.
The Animal Behavior Society is one of the largest
international societies devoted to the study of animal behavior. Its meetings routinely attract over 500
participants from dozens of countries.
Department of Biology