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Indiana University Bloomington

Meredith West

Dr. Meredith West

Professor Emeritus


mewest [at]

office: PY 348 | (812)855-9597

lab: Animal Behavior Farm
   PY A112 | (812)855-1297


Development of behavior in animals and humans with a particular interest in how learning and species-typical experience affect ontogenetic and/or phylogenetic processes

Educational Background

  • 1975 - Ph.D., Psychology, Cornell University
  • 1968 - B.S., Psychology, Tufts University

Areas of Study

  • Biology, Behavior, and Neuroscience
  • Animal Behavior

Research Topics

  • Naturally-occurring forms of early experience such as play, exploration, and social dynamics
  • Development of communication and social behavior
  • Development of parental behavior
  • Inheritance of environments

Representative Publications

In Press - West, King, White, Gros-Louis & Freed-Brown - The development of local song preferences in female cowbirds (Molothrus ater): Flock living stimulates learning. Ethology.

2005 - King, West, Goldstein. Nonvocal shaping of avian song development: Parallels to human speech development. Ethology, 111, 101-117.

2003 - West, King, White. The case for developmental ecology. Animal Behavior, 66, 617-622.

2003 - King, West, White. Female cowbird song perception: Evidence for plasticity of preference. Ethology, 109, 1-13.

2003 - Goldstein, King, West. Social interaction shapes babbling: testing parallels between birdsong and speech. PNAS, Vol. 100, no. 13.

2003 - King, White & West. Female proximity stimulates development of male competition in juvenile brown-headed cowbirds, (Molothrus ater). Animal Behaviour, 66, 817-828.

2003 - Gros-Louis, White, King & West. Female brown-headed cowbirds' (Molothrus ater) social assortment changes in response to male song: A potential source of public information. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 53, 163-173.