The main goal of the Animal Cognition and Comparative Neuroscience Laboratory (ACN) is the study of cognitive processes and their neurobiological bases in a comparative perspective. Research is mainly focused on the mechanisms of cerebral representation of physical and social objects, numbers, time and space. To carry this out, different species of vertebrates are used, in particular fish and birds along with small rodents, as well as invertebrates (honeybees, bumblebees) all housed in the CIMeC’s animal house.
The lab focus special attention on animal models characterized by simpler (or otherwise different) cerebral architectures than those of mammals, in order to provide support for comparative research and investigations into basic neurological mechanisms. The techniques used combine traditional methods of ethological and behavioral investigation with neurobiological procedures, such as immunohystochemical analyses of gene expression in the brain.
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