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  • Thumbnail for Nature's great masterpiece : stories of elephants
    Nature's great masterpiece : stories of elephants by Poole, Joyce, 1956-

    Joyce Poole, one of the world’s leading elephant researchers, delivers the 2012 Sabine Distinguished Lecture in Psychology. Poole is co-founder of ElephantVoices (elephantvoices.org), an organization devoted to elephant welfare and conservation. She received her Ph.D. from Cambridge University, and has studied elephant behavior and communication for more than 30 years. She has written two books, numerous scientific papers, and popular articles on elephant behavior and conservation, and has participated in scores of media projects. Funding for this talk was provided by the Colorado College Cultural Attractions Fund, Sabine Fund for Psychology, and the dean of students. This lecture was presented at Colorado College, Armstrong Theatre, March 28, 2012.

  • Thumbnail for Behavioral Analysis of Rage Donating From 2014 through The 2016 Presidential Election
    Behavioral Analysis of Rage Donating From 2014 through The 2016 Presidential Election by Lee, Madison Elise

    Rage Donating is a novel approach to donating that was created through the emotional and political sentiments of the 2016 Presidential Election. What is so unique about this form of donating is that people are not donating due to moral beliefs or strong support of a specific organization but instead in retaliation to President Trump's politics and their own anger towards the administration. Since the 2016 Presidential Election non-profit organizations like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU to name only a few have seen a drastic increase in donations (Time, 2016). Since this approach and sentiment to donating is so new, not much is understood or researched on the topic. This study aims to understand how emotions, behavior, and sentiments influence a persons' affinity towards political advocacy. This study conducts an OLS regression model analysis to evaluate how anger, civic engagement, and satisfaction with the current political America influence a persons' efforts to change social systems. What was concluded is that behavioral responses (specifically anger) do play a key role in increasing a persons' likelihood to become politically active.

  • Thumbnail for Behavioral Analysis of Rage Donating From 2014 through the 2016 Presidential Election
    Behavioral Analysis of Rage Donating From 2014 through the 2016 Presidential Election by Lee, Madison Elise

    Rage Donating is a novel approach to donating that was created through the emotional and political sentiments of the 2016 Presidential Election. What is so unique about this form of donating is that people are not donating due to moral beliefs or strong support of a specific organization but instead in retaliation to President Trump’s politics and their own anger towards the administration. Since the 2016 Presidential Election non-profit organizations like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU to name only a few have seen a drastic increase in donations (Time, 2016). Since this approach and sentiment to donating is so new, not much is understood or researched on the topic. This study aims to understand how emotions, behavior, and sentiments influence a persons’ affinity towards political advocacy. This study conducts an OLS regression model analysis to evaluate how anger, civic engagement, and satisfaction with the current political America influence a persons’ efforts to change social systems. What was concluded is that behavioral responses (specifically anger) do play a key role in increasing a persons’ likelihood to become politically active.

  • Thumbnail for An Exploration of the Molecular Mechanisms of Behavior in Apteronotus leptorhynchus, or the Brown Ghost Knifefish
    An Exploration of the Molecular Mechanisms of Behavior in Apteronotus leptorhynchus, or the Brown Ghost Knifefish by Silver, Brianna Danielle

    Behavioral, molecular, and hormonal mechanisms work together to impact sensory processes, communication, and mate choice. This study investigates the evolution of communication and sexual dimorphism through an analysis of intrasexual variation in behavioral and molecular mechanisms in Apteronotus leptorhynchus, or the brown ghost knifefish. Although knifefish behavior is well described, gene expression studies in the brain are fairly novel, and few studies have looked at the correlation between behavior and gene expression in the brain within individuals. The brown ghost knifefish has unique, sexually dimorphic communicative behaviors which involve electric signals and can be systematically quantified by measuring electric organ discharge frequency (EODf) and chirp rates (rapid frequency modulations). In this study, we investigated the hypothesis that intrasexual variation in behavioral and molecular traits will be higher in males than in females due to sexual selection pressures, and that this variation is the result of changes in hormone receptor expression. To this end, we show that behavior is dimorphic in brown ghost knifefish, both in terms of EODf and chirp rates. Males have higher baseline frequencies and chirp rates than females. In addition, there is significantly more intrasexual variation in chirp rates within males. To determine if this sexually dimorphic behavior is due to changes in hormone receptor expression, we looked molecularly at expression of the androgen receptor, and of the estrogen receptors ESR1 and ESR2A. Preliminarily, our data suggest that perhaps receptor gene expression levels are not dimorphic in the brain, and therefore a different molecular mechanism seems to be driving this dimorphic behavior. Upon further investigation, we found that hormones, and specifically 11-ketotestosterone, seem to be likely candidates. This work supports the hypothesis that behavioral variation is greater in male knifefish, but the presence or absence of molecular dimorphism in the brain specifically could not be confirmed.