CBEN 2023

PLACE: Academiegebouw Universiteit Utrecht (Utrecht, Netherlands)
DATE: 2-3 November 2023

For this year’s CBEN meeting, we invite everyone to Utrecht. We would like this to be a meeting where scholars from a broad range of disciplines share their work at the interface of cognition, behavior, and evolution. CBEN has been brought to life with the aim to strengthen the local community of Dutch and Belgian researchers working in these areas. However, we warmly invite scholars from other countries to join us as well. CBEN offers an excellent opportunity for early-career researchers, including PhDs and
Postdocs, to present their work and network with one another in a relaxed atmosphere.

This year’s theme will be the interplay between evolution, behavior, and development. Across generations natural selection shapes learning mechanisms, which enable organisms to acquire adaptive behaviors across development. Evolution and development thus act as nested processes rather than opposing forces. Niko Tinbergen argued that a complete understanding of behaviors and traits requires four different levels of explanation: development, mechanism, evolution, and function. By studying their interplay, we can enrich our understanding. For example, how has evolution shaped human social bonding and individual differences in social learning? How does the environment shape life-history scheduling? And, how can insight from comparative and cross-cultural research help us create a more sustainable future? These and other questions will be addressed by this year’s plenary speakers.

We welcome any submissions at the interface of cognition, behavior, and evolution. We encourage submissions that use empirical approaches or mathematical modeling to better understand the interplay between evolution, behavior, and development. We hope to see many scholars from various disciplines working in these areas this November.

Plenary speakers

  • Hanna Kokko (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz): Life history theory: sometimes intuitive, sometimes not
  • Karline Janmaat (University of Amsterdam): Understanding the roots and fruits of our primate brain: a way to a more sustainable future?
  • Piet van den Berg (KU Leuven): The evo-devo of individual differences in social learning
  • Wouter Wolf (Utrecht University): A shared intentionality account of human social bonding

You can find the abstracts for the plenary talks here.


Academiegebouw, Korte Nieuwstraat 4, 3512 NM, Utrecht (directions)


The venue is a 15-minute walk from Utrecht Central Train Station, with various different options for accommodation in the surrounding area.

We will provide more information shortly.

Abstract submission

Talks are scheduled for 15 min (10 min presentation + 5 min Q&A). Please, submit an abstract before July 15th. Depending on the number of submissions we receive, some abstracts may be considered for a poster- or a data blitz (5 min) presentation.

Please submit your abstract using the submission form.

Registration (coming soon)

Early bird (until September 15)

Faculty with dinner: 80
Faculty without dinner: 50
Student with dinner: 50
Student without dinner: 20

Regular (until October 15)

Faculty with dinner: 95
Faculty without dinner: 65
Student with dinner: 65
Student without dinner: 35

In case that you are not able to pay the conference registration fees, please do not hesitate to reach out to us so we can find a solution.


For more information, please contact the organizers at cben.2023.utrecht@gmail.com.


Nicole Walasek and Willem Frankenhuis.


CBEN 2023 is supported by the NWO and by Utrecht University.