The main objective of the Centre de Recherches sur la Cognition Animale (CRCA) is the multidisciplinary and comparative study of cognitive processes in various animal models ranging from invertebrates to vertebrates. The CRCA is part of the Centre de Biologie Intégrative de Toulouse (CBI Toulouse), and its supervisors are the CNRS and the University Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier. The CRCA is composed of about 90 people, organized in 5 teams whose research concerns cognitive processes at the individual and collective levels.
At the individual level, we are interested in perceptual processes, selective attention, and the learning and memorization of point and spatial cues. The understanding of these processes requires the implementation of multidisciplinary studies from various approaches such as ethology, experimental psychology, neuroethology, neurobiology, molecular biology and modeling. Within this framework, the study of the animal brain and its plasticity is a priority of our unit.
At the level of societies or species living in groups, we are interested in behavioral rules allowing the coordination of activities within groups, from which complex collective behaviors can emerge through self-organization processes. We thus study distributed cognition based on interactions and direct or indirect transmission of information between individuals. In this framework, approaches of ethology, modeling, physics and robotics are used