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Pócsai, Anita

Konrad-Lorenz-Institut für Vergleichende Verhaltensforschung
Department für Interdisziplinäre Lebenswissenschaften
Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Savoyenstr. 1a
A-1160 Wien  


E-Mail to Anita Pocsai


I study behavioural biology with an emphasis on animal communication. For my MS research, I investigated how bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) use signature and non-signature whistles in different behavioural contexts. Currently, for my PhD, I am studying acoustic and chemical communication in house mice (Mus musculus), with the aim of better understanding sexual imprinting and multi-modal sensory integration.

Current Project

Sounds and pheromones: neural networks merging olfactory and acoustic cues in sexual imprinting

International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO), 12 quai Saint Jean, 67080 Strasbourg, France

Project duration: 01.11.2020-30.04.2024

Sexual imprinting is an instinctive learning process in which young offspring learn particular features about their parents (and siblings) as a mechanism to select their mates as adults. House mice (Mus musculus) provide an excellent model species for investigating sexual imprinting in mammals. Mice, for example, learn olfactory and acoustic cues from their family to form memories about the characteristics of their conspecifics and close kin, which later enables them to recognize their own species and avoid close inbreeding. Surprisingly, however, almost nothing is known about the neural circuits and mechanisms governing sexual imprinting in mice or any other species. Our project aims to identify in mice where and how the neural circuits responsible for sexual imprinting are formed during postnatal development and whether olfactory and acoustic cues cooperate to shape these circuits and control the mating preferences as adults. The project relies on the close collaboration between three research groups with very different though complementary competences (ethology, neuroscience, and advanced optics).

Curriculum Vitae


PhD program, Behavioral Biology

Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology, Vienna, Austria


Music Teacher

“Associazione Musicale Culturale Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart”, Turin, Italy


Internship in the Aquariology of Marine Mammals

Aquarium of Genoa, Italy


M.Sc., The Evolution of Animal and Human Behaviour

University of Turin, Italy


B.Sc., Biological Sciences

University of Turin, Italy