Cognition, Evolution, and Behavior

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-12-30
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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How do animals perceive the world, learn, remember, search for food or mates, communicate, and find their way around? Do any nonhuman animals count, imitate one another, use a language, or have a culture? What are the uses of cognition in nature and how might it have evolved? What is the current status of Darwin's claim that other species share the same "mental powers" as humans, but to different degrees? In this completely revised second edition of Cognition, Evolution, and Behavior, Sara Shettleworth addresses these questions, among others, by integrating findings from psychology, behavioral ecology, and ethology in a unique and wide-ranging synthesis of theory and research on animal cognition, in the broadest sense--from species-specific adaptations of vision in fish and associative learning in rats to discussions of theory of mind in chimpanzees, dogs, and ravens. She reviews the latest research on topics such as episodic memory, metacognition, and cooperation and other-regarding behavior in animals, as well as recent theories about what makes human cognition unique. In every part of this new edition, Shettleworth incorporates findings and theoretical approaches that have emerged since the first edition was published in 1998. The chapters are now organized into three sections: Fundamental Mechanisms (perception, learning, categorization, memory), Physical Cognition (space, time, number, physical causation), and Social Cognition (social knowledge, social learning, communication). Shettleworth has also added new chapters on evolution and the brain and on numerical cognition, and a new chapter on physical causation that integrates theories of instrumental behavior with discussions of foraging, planning, and tool using.

Author Biography

Sara Shettleworth is Professor Emerita in the Departments of Psychology and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto, where she obtained her Ph.D. in 1970. Her research on learning and memory in a variety of species of birds and mammals has been published in over 100 articles and book chapters. Her contributions have been recognized by numerous awards, including the International Comparative Cognition Society's 2008 Research Award. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Animal Behavior Society, and a member of the Society of Experimental Psychologists.

Table of Contents

Cognition and the Study of Behaviorp. 3
What is comparative cognition about?p. 4
Kinds of explanation for behaviorp. 10
Approaches to comparative cognitionp. 15
Summaryp. 23
Evolution, Behavior, and Cognition: A Primerp. 26
Testing adaptationp. 26
Mapping phylogenyp. 31
Evolution, cognition, and the structure of behaviorp. 34
Evolution and the brainp. 42
What does all this have to do with comparative psychology?p. 49
Summarizing and looking aheadp. 53
Fundamental Mechanismsp. 55
Perception and Attentionp. 57
Specialized sensory systemsp. 57
How can we find out what animals perceive?p. 62
Some psychophysical principlesp. 65
Signal detection theoryp. 66
Perception and evolution: Sensory ecologyp. 73
Search and attentionp. 77
Attention and foraging: The behavioral ecology of attentionp. 84
Summaryp. 94
Learning: Introduction and Pavlovian Conditioningp. 96
General processes and ˘constraints on learning÷p. 96
A framework for thinking about learningp. 98
When and how will learning evolve?p. 102
Pavlovian conditioning: Conditions for learningp. 105
What is learned?p. 119
Conditional control of behavior: Occasion setting and modulationp. 126
Effects of learning on behaviorp. 127
Concluding remarksp. 134
Recognition Learningp. 136
Habituationp. 136
Perceptual learningp. 146
Imprintingp. 150
The behavioral ecology of social recognition: Recognizing kinp. 161
Forms of recognition learning comparedp. 165
Discrimination, Classification, and Conceptsp. 167
Three examplesp. 167
Untrained responses to natural stimulip. 168
Classifying complex natural stimulip. 172
Discrimination learningp. 179
Category discrimination and conceptsp. 190
Summary and conclusionsp. 208
Memoryp. 210
Functions and properties of memoryp. 211
Methods for studying memory in animalsp. 215
Conditions for memoryp. 222
Species differences in memory?p. 230
Mechanisms: What is remembered and why is it forgotten?p. 237
Memory and consciousnessp. 241
Summary and conclusionsp. 256
Physical Cognitionp. 259
Getting Around: Spatial Cognitionp. 261
Mechanisms for spatial orientationp. 264
Modularity and integrationp. 283
Acquiring spatial knowledge: The conditions for learningp. 288
Do animals have cognitive maps?p. 296
Summaryp. 310
Timingp. 313
Circadian rhythmsp. 313
Interval timing: Datap. 323
Interval timing: Theoriesp. 331
Summary: Two timing systems?p. 338
Numerical Competencep. 340
Numerosity discrimination and the analog magnitude systemp. 344
The object tracking systemp. 350
Ordinal comparison: Numerosity, serial position, and transitive inferencep. 355
Labels and languagep. 365
Numerical cognition and comparative psychologyp. 370
Cognition and the Consequences of Behavior: Foraging, Planning, Instrumental Learning, and Using Toolsp. 371
Foragingp. 372
Long-term or short-term maximizing: Do animals plan ahead?p. 389
Causal learning and instrumental behaviorp. 394
Using and understanding toolsp. 399
On causal learning and killjoy explanationsp. 413
Social Cognitionp. 415
Social Intelligencep. 417
The social intelligence hypothesisp. 418
The nature of social knowledgep. 421
Intentionality and social understandingp. 432
Theory of mindp. 441
Cooperationp. 455
Summaryp. 464
Social Learningp. 466
Social learning in contextp. 468
Mechanisms: Social learning without imitationp. 475
Mechanisms: Imitationp. 482
Do nonhuman animals teach?p. 497
Animal cultures?p. 503
Summary and conclusionsp. 506
Communication and Languagep. 508
Some basic issuesp. 511
Natural communication systemsp. 516
Trying to teach human language to other speciesp. 532
Language evolution and animal communication: New directionsp. 543
Summary and conclusionsp. 546
Summing Up and Looking Aheadp. 548
Modularity and the animal mindp. 549
Theory and method in comparative cognitionp. 551
Humans versus other species: Different in degree or kind?p. 554
The future: Tinbergen's four questions, and a fifth onep. 559
Referencesp. 563
Creditsp. 651
Author Indexp. 667
Subject Indexp. 685
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