Cognition, Evolution, and Behavior / Edition 2

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book is a very comprehensive review of animal cognition. It differs from other texts on this topic in a number of ways, as outlined by Shettleworth in her preface and in the opening chapter. Essentially, Shettleworth wants to advocate an 'adaptationist or ecological approach to cognition'. In doing so, she brings together a wealth of data on animal cognition, studied from quite different theoretical viewpoints, such as cognitive ethology, animal learning theory, neuroscience, behavioural ecology and cognitive psychology. . . . Each chapter ends with a clear and useful summary, and helpful suggestions for further reading. The book's numerous illustrations, which are mostly tables or figures redrawn by Margaret Nelson, greatly add to its appeal. . . . [T]his is a marvellously rich, well-written and stimulating book. . . . I greatly enjoyed reading [and] recommend it highly to anyone interested in animal cognition, evolution and behaviour."--Animal Behaviour

"Shettleworth's new book is one of the most compelling studies showing how a synergism between biology and psychology can make a significant contribution to our general understanding of how minds work and how they might have evolved. It provides an extremely readable, informative and, above all, integrative approach to the study of animal cognition. This book provides a seminal contribution to the interdisciplinary science of animal cognition, and I hope it will have a major impact on the way we think about cognitive properties and the evolution of animal minds. I regard it as an investment for the future!" -- Nicola Clayton, UC Davis

"Sara Shettleworth has probably written the most comprehensive study of the animal mind ever and therefore a fundamental textbook on 'comparative cognition'. She first gets consciousness out of the way: whether an animal is conscious or not is impossible to determine, since consciousness is a private, subjective phenomenon. We can study cognition, and certainly cognition lends credibility to the idea that at least some animals must be at least to some degree conscious, but experiments can only prove facts about cognition. She reviews the field of cognitive ethology from the beginning and then analyzes the main cognitive tasks from an information-processing perspective By the end of her review of cognitive faculties, it become apparent that, at least among vertebrates, there are no significant differences in learning, except for language. All vertebrates are capable of 'associative' learning What no other vertebrate seems to be capable of is 'syntax'." -- Piero Scaruffi,

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195319842
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/30/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 720
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Cognition and the study of behavior
1.1 What is comparative cognition about?
1.2 Kinds of explanation for behavior
1.3 Approaches to comparative cognition
1.4 Summary
Chapter 2. Evolution, behavior, and cognition: A primer
2.1 Testing adaptation
2.2 Mapping phylogeny
2.3 Evolution, cognition, and the structure of behavior
2.4 Evolution and the brain
2.5 What does all this have to do with comparative psychology?
2.6 Summarizing and looking ahead
Part I. Fundamental Mechanisms
Chapter 3. Perception and attention
3.1 Specialized sensory systems
3.2 How can we find out what animals perceive?
3.3 Some psychophysical principles
3.4 Signal detection theory
3.5 Perception and evolution: Sensory ecology
3.6 Search and attention
3.7 Attention and foraging: The behavioral ecology of attention
3.8 Summary
Chapter 4. Learning: Introduction and Pavlovian conditioning
4.1 General processes and "constraints on learning"
4.2 A framework for thinking about learning
4.3 When and how will learning evolve?
4.4 Pavlovian conditioning: Conditions for learning
4.5 What is learned?
4.6 Conditional control of behavior: Occasion setting and modulation
4.7 Effects of learning on behavior
4.8 Concluding remarks
Chapter 5. Recognition learning
5.1 Habituation
5.2 Perceptual learning
5.3 Imprinting
5.4 The behavioral ecology of social recognition: Recognizing kin
5.5. Forms of recognition learning compared
Chapter 6. Discrimination, classification, and concepts
6.1 Three examples
6.2 Untrained responses to natural stimuli
6.3 Classifying complex natural stimuli
6.4 Discrimination learning
6.5 Category discrimination and concepts
6.6 Summary and conclusions
Chapter 7. Memory
7.1 Functions and properties of memory
7.2 Methods for studying memory in animals
7.3 Conditions for memory
7.4 Species differences in memory?
7.5 Mechanisms: What is remembered and why is it forgotten?
7.6 Memory and consciousness
7.7 Summary and conclusions
Part II. Physical Cognition
Chapter 8. Getting around: Spatial cognition
8.1 Mechanisms for spatial orientation
8.2 Modularity and integration
8.3 Acquiring spatial knowledge: The conditions for learning
8.4 Do animals have cognitive maps?
8.5 Summary
Chapter 9. Timing
9.1 Circadian rhythms
9.2 Interval timing: Data
9.3 Interval timing: Theories
9.4 Two timing systems?
Chapter 10. Numerical competence
10.1 Numerosity discrimination and the analogue magnitude system
10.2 The object tracking system
10.3. Ordinal comparison: Numerosity, serial position, and transitive inference
10.4 Labels and language
10.5 Numerical cognition and comparative psychology
Chapter 11. Cognition and the consequences of behavior: Foraging, planning, instrumental learning and using tools
11.1 Foraging
11.2 Long term or short term maximizing: Do animals plan ahead?
11.3 Causal learning and instrumental behavior
11.4 Using tools
11.5 On causal learning and killjoy explanations
Part III. Social Cognition
Chapter 12. Social intelligence
12.1 The social intelligence hypothesis
12.2 The nature of social knowledge
12.3 Intentionality and social understanding
12.4 Theory of mind
12.5 Cooperation
12.6 Summary
Chapter 13. Social learning
13.1 Social learning in context
13.2 Mechanisms : Social learning without imitation
13.3 Mechanisms: Imitation
13.4 Do nonhuman animals teach?
13.5 Animal cultures?
13.6 Conclusions
Chapter 14. Communication and language
14.1 Basic issues
14.2 Natural communication systems
14.3 Trying to teach human language to other species
14.4 Language evolution and animal communication: Current directions
14.5 Conclusions
Chapter 15. Summing up and looking ahead
15.1 Modularity and the animal mind
15.2 Theory and method in comparative cognition
15.3 Humans vs. other species: Different in degree or kind?
15.4 The future: Tinbergen's four questions, and a fifth one

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