Finding and attaining mates requires many complex skills, from searching the environment, identifying sexually mature members of the opposite sex and differentiating good quality from bad quality partners. The use or disuse of such skills is likely to have significant effects on the development of important neural networks involved in learning. We’ll investigate the link between learning and sex by asking if deprivation from mating and interacting with the opposite sex results in reduced ability to learn and if individuals that are better at learning are also better at mating.  


You’ll answer the following questions: ‘Does sex enhance the ability to learn?’ and ‘are smarter individuals better at mating?’

Student benefits 

You’ll learn many skills essential for conducting high-quality research and moving into a PhD. These skills include:

  • experimental design
  • behavioural assays
  • data collection and management
  • advanced statistical analyses
  • writing and publishing a scientific paper in a well-regarded journal.

Supervised by Dr Erin Macartney, Dr Szymon Drobniak, Prof. Shinichi Nakagawa

Get involved

To learn more about this project, contact Professor Shinichi Nakagawa.