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Queen's University



In 1998 we initiated a program to study the neuroethology of conspecific recognition in pigeons, having shown convincingly they produce robust courtship responses to video images.


Click here to view a video of a male pigeon courting a female pigeon displayed on a television. RealPlayer video, size 4551KB.

In collaboration withDr. Nikolaus Troje we have constructed a virtual pigeon, using professional animation programs (Alias|Wavefront Maya, Kaydara MoCap), that will exhibit most of the behaviour of real pigeons, where moving parts are under computer control. Click here to view a video of a Virtual "Female" Pigeon, which is a receptive female modeled after a live female. RealPlayer video, size 6587KB.


Virtual Pigeon

We will use miniature FM telemetry units to transmit single unit data from pigeons as they observe and respond to these well controlled video and virtual animals in order to find the brain areas involved in courtship behaviour.


  • Frost, B.J., Troje, N.F. and David, S. Pigeon courtship behaviour in response to live birds and video presentations. 5th International Congress of Neuroethology, 1998. [PDF]
  • Troje, N.F., Frost, B.J. and David, S. An ethogram of the pigeon's bowing display. 5th International Congress of Neuroethology, 1998. [PDF]
  • Troje, N.F. and Frost, B.J. The physiological fine structure of motion sensitive neurons in the pigeon's tectum opticum. Society for Neuroscience Abstract, 1998. [PDF]

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000