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Professor Mike Colombo

Mike Colombo

Email mike.colombo@otago.ac.nz
Tel +64 3 479 7626

Professor Mike Colombo has over 30 years of university teaching experience, at both graduate and undergraduate levels, and over 30 years of research experience. His current research interests are the neural mechanisms of visual processing, the neural mechanisms of learning and memory, and comparative animal cognition. He has authored over 100 journal articles and one book, and has received numerous awards for his teaching and supervision, including the University of Otago Excellence in Teaching Award.

Mike received his undergraduate degree in molecular biology and psychology from the University of Colorado. He received his PhD in 1989 from Rutgers University with a research emphasis on comparative animal cognition and neuroscience. Following his PhD, he was awarded an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship to study the neural mechanisms of visual processing in monkeys at Princeton University. He joined the University of Otago in 1992 and served as Head of Department of Psychology from 2014 to 2019.

Teaching

  • PSYC111 Sensation, Perception and Neuropsychology
  • PSYC310 Research Project
  • PSYC319 Comparative Cognition

Research Interests

  • Neural mechanisms of visual processing
  • Neural mechanisms of learning and memory
  • Comparative animal cognition

Find out more about Professor Colombo's research

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Publications

Colombo, M., Scarf, D., & Zentall, T. (2021). Editorial: The comparative psychology of intelligence: Macphail revisited. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 648782. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.648782

Johnston, M., Scarf, D., Wilson, A., Millar, J., Bartonicek, A., & Colombo, M. (2020). The effects of hippocampal and area parahippocampalis lesions on the processing and retention of serial-order behavior, autoshaping, and spatial behavior in pigeons. Hippocampus. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/hipo.23287

Anderson, C., Parra, R. S., Chapman, H., Steinemer, A., Porter, B., & Colombo, M. (2020). Pigeon nidopallium caudolaterale, entopallium, and mesopallium ventrolaterale neural responses during categorisation of Monet and Picasso paintings. Scientific Reports, 10, 15971. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-72650-y

Colombo, M., & Scarf, D. (2020). Are there differences in “intelligence” between nonhuman species? The role of contextual variables. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 2072. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.02072

Bartonicek, A., & Colombo, M. (2020). Claw-in-the-door: Pigeons, like humans, display the foot-in-the-door effect. Animal Cognition, 23, 893-900. doi: 10.1007/s10071-020-01395-y

Rovee-Collier, C., Hayne, H., & Colombo, M. (2000). The Development of Implicit and Explicit Memory. Pennsylvania, USA: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 292p.

Authored Book - Research

Colombo, M., & Johnston, M. (2017). Entopallium. In J. Vonk & J. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of animal cognition and behavior. (pp. 1-6). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1219-1

Chapter in Book - Research

Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2017). Serial list learning. In J. Vonk & T. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopedia of animal cognition and behavior. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1507-1

Chapter in Book - Research

Scarf, D., Terrace, H. S., & Colombo, M. (2011). Planning abilities of monkeys. In R. M. Williams (Ed.), Monkeys: Biology, behavior and disorders. (pp. 137-150). New York: Nova.

Chapter in Book - Research

Colombo, M., & Hayne, H. (2010). Episodic memory: Comparative and developmental issues. In M. S. Blumberg, J. H. Freeman & S. R. Robinson (Eds.), Oxford handbook of developmental behavioral neuroscience. (pp. 617-636). Oxford University Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Colombo, M., Gulya, M., & Rovee-Collier, C. (2006). The development of serial-order behaviour: Knowledge of ordinal position. In J. R. Marrow (Ed.), Focus on child psychology research. (pp. 43-58). New York: Nova Science.

Chapter in Book - Research

Colombo, M., Gulya, M., & Rovee-Collier, C. (2006). The ontogeny of serial-order representation. In C. M. Fletcher-Flinn & G. M. Haberman (Eds.), Cognition and language: Perspectives from New Zealand. (pp. 191-206). Brisbane, Australia: Australian Academic Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Lock, A. J., & Colombo, M. W. (1996). Comparative studies of cognitive abilities. In A. J. Lock & C. Peters (Eds.), Handbook of Human Symbolic Evolution. (pp. 596-643). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chapter in Book - Research

Clark, W., & Colombo, M. (2018). Face-selective neurons: Comparative perspectives. In J. Vonk & T. Shackelford (Eds.), Encyclopaedia of animal cognition and behaviour. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_2053-1

Chapter in Book - Other

Anderson, C., Johnston, M., Marrs, E. J., Porter, B., & Colombo, M. (2020). Delay activity in the Wulst of pigeons (Columba livia) represents correlates of both sample and reward information. Neurobiology of Learning & Memory, 171, 107214. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2020.107214

Journal - Research Article

Anderson, C., Parra, R. S., Chapman, H., Steinemer, A., Porter, B., & Colombo, M. (2020). Pigeon nidopallium caudolaterale, entopallium, and mesopallium ventrolaterale neural responses during categorisation of Monet and Picasso paintings. Scientific Reports, 10, 15971. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-72650-y

Journal - Research Article

Bartonicek, A., & Colombo, M. (2020). Claw-in-the-door: Pigeons, like humans, display the foot-in-the-door effect. Animal Cognition, 23, 893-900. doi: 10.1007/s10071-020-01395-y

Journal - Research Article

Clark, W. J., & Colombo, M. (2020). The functional architecture, receptive field characteristics, and representation of objects in the visual network of the pigeon brain. Progress in Neurobiology, 195, 101781. doi: 10.1016/j.pneurobio.2020.101781

Journal - Research Article

Johnston, M., Porter, B., & Colombo, M. (2020). Nidopallium caudolaterale neuronal response during serial-order behaviour in pigeons. Behavioural Brain Research, 378, 112269. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2019.112269

Journal - Research Article

Johnston, M., Scarf, D., Wilson, A., Millar, J., Bartonicek, A., & Colombo, M. (2020). The effects of hippocampal and area parahippocampalis lesions on the processing and retention of serial-order behavior, autoshaping, and spatial behavior in pigeons. Hippocampus. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/hipo.23287

Journal - Research Article

Clark, W. J., Porter, B., & Colombo, M. (2019). Searching for face-category representation in the avian visual forebrain. Frontiers in Physiology, 10, 140. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00140

Journal - Research Article

Phillips, H., McDowell, A., Mielby, B. S., Tucker, I. G., & Colombo, M. (2019). Aniracetam does not improve working memory in neurologically healthy pigeons. PLoS ONE, 14(4), e0215612. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0215612

Journal - Research Article

Dykes, M., Klarer, A., Porter, B., Rose, J., & Colombo, M. (2018). Neurons in the pigeon nidopallium caudolaterale display value-related activity. Scientific Reports, 8, 5377. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-23694-8

Journal - Research Article

Johnston, M., Clarkson, A. N., Gowing, E. K., Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2018). The effects of nidopallium caudolaterale inactivation on serial-order behaviour in pigeons (Columba livia). Journal of Neurophysiology, 120(3), 1143-1152. doi: 10.1152/jn.00167.2018

Journal - Research Article

Scarf, D., Johnston, M., & Colombo, M. (2018). Pigeons (Columba livia) learn a four-item list by trial and error. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 132(3), 234-239. doi: 10.1037/com.0000124

Journal - Research Article

Colombo, M., Klarer, A., Johnston, M., & Rose, J. (2017). Prospective processing: Behavioural and neural evidence. Japanese Journal of Animal Psychology, 67(2), 47-61. doi: 10.2502/janip.67.2.2

Journal - Research Article

Johnston, M., Anderson, C., & Colombo, M. (2017). Neural correlates of sample-coding and reward-coding in the delay activity of neurons in the entopallium and nidopallium caudolaterale of pigeons (Columba livia). Behavioural Brain Research, 317, 382-392. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2016.10.003

Journal - Research Article

Johnston, M., Anderson, C., & Colombo, M. (2017). Pigeon NCL and NFL neuronal activity represents neural correlates of the sample. Behavioral Neuroscience, 131(3), 213-219. doi: 10.1037/bne0000198

Journal - Research Article

Scarf, D., Corballis, M. C., Güntürkün, O., & Colombo, M. (2017). Do 'literate' pigeons (Columba livia) show mirror-word generalization? Animal Cognition, 20(5), 999-1002. doi: 10.1007/s10071-017-1116-4

Journal - Research Article

Kouwenhoven, M., & Colombo, M. (2016). The differential outcomes effect in pigeons (Columba livia): Is it truly anticipatory? PLoS ONE, 11(3), e0150510. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150510

Journal - Research Article

Scarf, D., Boy, K., Uber Reinert, A., Devine, J., Güntürkün, O., & Colombo, M. (2016). Orthographic processing in pigeons (Columba livia). PNAS, 113(40), 11272-11276. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1607870113

Journal - Research Article

Scarf, D., Stuart, M., Johnston, M., & Colombo, M. (2016). Visual response properties of neurons in four areas of the avian pallium. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 202(3), 235-245. doi: 10.1007/s00359-016-1071-6

Journal - Research Article

Staniland, J., Colombo, M., & Scarf, D. (2015). The Generation Effect or simply generating an effect? Journal of Comparative Psychology, 129(4), 329-333. doi: 10.1037/a0039450

Journal - Research Article

Scarf, D., Millar, J., Pow, N., & Colombo, M. (2014). Inhibition, the final frontier: The impact of hippocampal lesions on behavioral inhibition and spatial processing in pigeons. Behavioral Neuroscience, 128(1), 42-47. doi: 10.1037/a0035487

Journal - Research Article

Scarf, D., Terrace, H., Colombo, M., & Magnuson, J. S. (2014). Eye movements reveal planning in humans: A comparison with Scarf and Colombo's (2009) monkeys. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 40(2), 178-184. doi: 10.1037/xan0000008

Journal - Research Article

Koenen, C., Millar, J., & Colombo, M. (2013). How bad do you want it? Reward modulation in the avian nidopallium caudolaterale. Behavioral Neuroscience, 127(4), 544-554. doi: 10.1037/a0033551

Journal - Research Article

Scarf, D., Gross, J., Colombo, M., & Hayne, H. (2013). To have and to hold: Episodic memory in 3- and 4-year-old children. Developmental Psychobiology, 55(2), 125-132. doi: 10.1002/dev.21004

Journal - Research Article

Colombo, M., & Scarf, D. (2012). Neurophysiological studies of learning and memory in pigeons. Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews, 7, 23-43. doi: 10.3819/ccbr.2012.7002

Journal - Research Article

Scarf, D., Imuta, K., Colombo, M., & Hayne, H. (2012). Social evaluation or simple association? Simple associations may explain moral reasoning in infants. PLoS ONE, 7(8), e42698. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042698

Journal - Research Article

Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2011). Knowledge of the ordinal position of list items in pigeons. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 37(4), 483-487. doi: 10.1037/a0023695

Journal - Research Article

Scarf, D., Danly, E., Morgan, G., Colombo, M., & Terrace, H. S. (2011). Sequential planning in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Animal Cognition, 14(3), 317-324. doi: 10.1007/s10071-010-0365-2

Journal - Research Article

Scarf, D., Hayne, H., & Colombo, M. (2011). Pigeons on par with primates in numerical competence. Science, 334(6063), 1664. doi: 10.1126/science.1213357

Journal - Research Article

Scarf, D., Miles, K., Sloan, A., Goulter, N., Hegan, M., Seid-Fatemi, A., … Colombo, M. (2011). Brain cells in the avian 'prefrontal cortex' code for features of slot-machine-like gambling. PLoS ONE, 6(1), e14589. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014589

Journal - Research Article

Browning, R., Overmier, J. B., & Colombo, M. (2010). Delay activity in avian prefrontal cortex — sample code or reward code? European Journal of Neuroscience, 33(4), 726-735. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2010.07540.x

Journal - Research Article

Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2010). A positional coding mechanism in pigeons after learning multiple three-item lists. Animal Cognition, 13, 653-661. doi: 10.1007/s10071-010-0315-z

Journal - Research Article

Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2010). Representation of serial order in pigeons (Columba livia). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 36(4), 423-429. doi: 10.1037/a0020926

Journal - Research Article

Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2010). The formation and execution of sequential plans in pigeons (Columba livia). Behavioural Processes, 83(2), 179-182. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2009.12.004

Journal - Research Article

Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2009). Eye movements during list execution reveal no planning in monkeys (Macaca fascicularis). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 35(4), 587-592. doi: 10.1037/a0014020

Journal - Research Article

Bingman, V. P., Gasser, B., & Colombo, M. (2008). Responses of pigeon (Columba livia) Wulst neurons during acquisition and reversal of a visual discrimination task. Behavioral Neuroscience, 122(5), 1139-1147. doi: 10.1037/a0012586

Journal - Research Article

Milmine, M., Rose, J., & Colombo, M. (2008). Sustained activation and executive control in the avian prefrontal cortex. Brain Research Bulletin, 76(3), 317-323. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2008.02.009

Journal - Research Article

Milmine, M., Watanabe, A., & Colombo, M. (2008). Neural correlates of directed forgetting in the avian prefrontal cortex. Behavioral Neuroscience, 122(1), 199-209. doi: 10.1037/0735-7044.122.1.199

Journal - Research Article

Scarf, D., & Colombo, M. (2008). Representation of serial order: A comparative analysis of humans, monkeys, and pigeons. Brain Research Bulletin, 76(3), 307-312. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2008.02.022

Journal - Research Article

Richmond, J., Colombo, M., & Hayne, H. (2007). Interpreting visual preferences in the visual paired-comparison task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 33(5), 823-831.

Journal - Research Article

Colombo, M. (2005). The value of a comparative perspective: Theoretical comment on Pearce et al. (2005). Behavioral Neuroscience, 119(5), 1411-1414.

Journal - Research Article

Kalenscher, T., Windmann, S., Diekamp, B., Rose, J., Güntürkün, O., & Colombo, M. (2005). Single units in the pigeon brain integrate reward amount and time-to-reward in an impulsive choice task. Current Biology, 15, 594-602.

Journal - Research Article

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