Psychology Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Cognition in Mexican Jays and Western Scrub-Jays

This project was expired on 12/02/2016


To find out about this 499 opportunity contact:

Contact name: Kelsey McCune
Email: kmccune@uw.edu

Faculty Information

Department: Psychology

Does faculty advisor meet with students?

If yes, how often? Once or twice a quarter

Direct supervisor of students:

Kelsey McCune
Supervisor Title: PhD Student
Will 499 students participate in weekly or biweekly discussions sessions about research or project? Yes

Short Project Description

This experiment investigates the relationship between social behavior and learning ability. Mexican Jays are communal cooperative breeders, whereas Western Scrub-Jays are monogamous and asocial. We test learning ability in both species using a puzzle box. The 499 student will be watching videos of the learning trials and coding interactions with the puzzle box. The student will learn about behavioral ethograms, how to read color banded birds, and about research design in the animal cognition field.

Work Schedule

Min. number of hours/weekstudent must work: 9
Evenings/weekends OK? Yes
Times a student must bepresent/work: No designated times
Student commitment: 9 hours per week minimum. At least one meeting per week with supervisor

499 Responsibilities

Working with Data Working with Subjects Working with Animals/physiology
50 % data entry % video taping % animal care
% database management % interview subjects % animal observation
50 % encoding data % scheduling appt % surgical techniques
% library research % running subjects % histology
% data collection % child care % laboratory protocols
    % recruiting subjects    


Skills / Experience Preferred

Experience with Excel, Google Drive, and Dropbox preferred.