Cognition, Evolution, and Behavior [NOOK Book]


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 ...
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Cognition, Evolution, and Behavior

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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.
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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: 9780199886388
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 2
  • File size: 14 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

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

1 Cognition and the Study of Behavior 3

2 Evolution, Behavior, and Cognition: A Primer 26

Pt. I Fundamental Mechanisms 55

3 Perception and Attention 57

4 Learning: Introduction and Pavlovian Conditioning 96

5 Recognition Learning 136

6 Discrimination, Classification, and Concepts 167

7 Memory 210

Pt. II Physical Cognition 259

8 Getting Around: Spatial Cognition 261

10 Numerical Competence 340

11 Cognition and the Consequences of Behavior: Foraging, Planning, Instrumental Learning, and Using Tools 371

Pt. III Social Cognition 415

12 Social Intelligence 417

13 Social Learning 466

14 Communication and Language 508

15 Summing Up and Looking Ahead 548

References 563

Credits 651

Author Index 667

Subject Index 685

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