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Animal Cognition

Heidi Ahonen, Robert G Harcourt, Adam J Stow, Isabelle Charrier
Vocal characteristics can vary among and within populations. In species with geographic variation in the structure of vocalizations, individuals may have the ability to discriminate between calls from local and non-local individuals. The ability to distinguish differences in acoustic signals is likely to have a significant influence on the outcome of social interactions between individuals, including potentially mate selection and breeding success. Pinnipeds (seals, fur seals, sea lions and walruses) are highly vocal yet the Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea) is the only eared seal known to show geographic vocal variation in male barks...
January 19, 2018: Animal Cognition
Yuko Ishikawa, Daniel Mills, Alexander Willmott, David Mullineaux, Kun Guo
Preferential attention to living creatures is believed to be an intrinsic capacity of the visual system of several species, with perception of biological motion often studied and, in humans, it correlates with social cognitive performance. Although domestic dogs are exceptionally attentive to human social cues, it is unknown whether their sociability is associated with sensitivity to conspecific and heterospecific biological motion cues of different social relevance. We recorded video clips of point-light displays depicting a human or dog walking in either frontal or lateral view...
January 13, 2018: Animal Cognition
Bonnie M Perdue, Ella R Brown
Choice behavior in humans has motivated a large body of research with a focus on whether decisions can be considered to be rational. In general, humans prefer having choice, as do a number of other species that have been tested, even though having increased choice does not necessarily yield a positive outcome. Humans have been found to choose an option more often only because the opportunity to select it was diminishing, an example of a deviation from economic rationality. Here we extend this paradigm to nonhuman primates in an effort to understand the mechanisms underlying this finding...
January 2, 2018: Animal Cognition
Amy Victoria Smith, Clara Wilson, Karen McComb, Leanne Proops
In the original publication, data availability text was incorrectly published. The correct text should read as below.
December 21, 2017: Animal Cognition
Ryuzaburo Nakata, Satoshi Eifuku, Ryoi Tamura
Humans can efficiently detect a face among non-face objects, but few studies of this ability have been conducted in animals. Here, in Japanese macaques and humans, we examined visual searching for a face and explored what factors contribute to efficient facial information processing. Subjects were asked to search for an odd target among the different numbers of distracters. Faces of the subjects' own species, the backs of the head of the subjects' own species, faces of the subjects' closely related species or race, and faces of species that are clearly different from the subjects' own species were used as the target...
December 18, 2017: Animal Cognition
Charlotte Duranton, Thierry Bedossa, Florence Gaunet
Affiliation between interacting partners is associated with a high level of behavioural synchronization in many species. Pet dogs are known to share strong affiliative bonds with their owners and to synchronize their behaviour with them when moving freely indoors. Surprisingly, outdoor dog-human interspecific synchronization has seldom been investigated. We therefore explored whether, when allowed to move freely in a familiar outdoor space, dogs synchronize their behaviour with their owners' movements. We found that dogs visibly synchronized both their location (staying in close proximity) and their activity (moving when their owner moved, and at the same pace, and standing still when their owner stood still) with those of their owners...
December 18, 2017: Animal Cognition
Martín M Puddington, Mauricio R Papini, Rubén N Muzio
Instrumental learning guides behavior toward resources. When such resources are no longer available, approach to previously reinforced locations is reduced, a process called extinction. The present experiments are concerned with factors affecting the extinction of acquired behaviors in toads. In previous experiments, total reward magnitude in acquisition and duration of extinction trials were confounded. The present experiments were designed to test the effects of these factors in factorial designs. Experiment 1 varied reward magnitude (900, 300, or 100 s of water access per trial) and amount of acquisition training (5 or 15 daily trials)...
December 16, 2017: Animal Cognition
Debbie M Kelly
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
December 14, 2017: Animal Cognition
Can Kabadayi, Katarzyna Bobrowicz, Mathias Osvath
In this paper, we review one of the oldest paradigms used in animal cognition: the detour paradigm. The paradigm presents the subject with a situation where a direct route to the goal is blocked and a detour must be made to reach it. Often being an ecologically valid and a versatile tool, the detour paradigm has been used to study diverse cognitive skills like insight, social learning, inhibitory control and route planning. Due to the relative ease of administrating detour tasks, the paradigm has lately been used in large-scale comparative studies in order to investigate the evolution of inhibitory control...
December 12, 2017: Animal Cognition
Sumie Iwasaki, Sota Watanabe, Kazuo Fujita
Despite their impressive cognitive abilities, avian species have shown less evidence for metacognition than mammals. We suspect that commonly used tasks such as matching to sample might be too demanding to allow metacognitive processing within birds' working memory. Here, we examined whether pigeons could control their behavior as a function of knowledge levels on a three-item sequence learning task, a reference memory task supposedly requiring fewer working memory resources. The experiment used two types of lists differing in familiarity...
December 11, 2017: Animal Cognition
Tidhar Lev-Ari, Yoram Gutfreund
Selective attention, the prioritization of behaviorally relevant stimuli for behavioral control, is commonly divided into two processes: bottom-up, stimulus-driven selection and top-down, task-driven selection. Here, we tested two barn owls in a visual search task that examines attentional capture of the top-down task by bottom-up mechanisms. We trained barn owls to search for a vertical Gabor patch embedded in a circular array of differently oriented Gabor distractors (top-down guided search). To track the point of gaze, a lightweight wireless video camera was mounted on the owl's head...
December 6, 2017: Animal Cognition
Megan L Hoffman, Michael J Beran, David A Washburn
The purpose of the present study was to examine whether rhesus monkeys remember information about their own agency-along with spatial, temporal and contextual properties-from a previously experienced event. In Experiment 1, rhesus monkeys (n = 4) used symbols to reliably indicate whether they had performed or observed an event on a computer screen. In Experiment 2, naïve and experienced monkeys (n = 8) reported agency information when stringent controls for perceptual and proprioceptive cues were included...
December 1, 2017: Animal Cognition
Giulia Sirianni, Roman M Wittig, Paolo Gratton, Roger Mundry, Axel Schüler, Christophe Boesch
When humans are about to manipulate an object, our brains use visual cues to recall an internal representation to predict its weight and scale the lifting force accordingly. Such a long-term force profile, formed through repeated experiences with similar objects, has been proposed to improve manipulative performance. Skillful object manipulation is crucial for many animals, particularly those that rely on tools for foraging. However, despite enduring interest in tool use in non-human animals, there has been very little investigation of their ability to form an expectation about an object's weight...
December 1, 2017: Animal Cognition
Takashi Hotta, Shiho Komiyama, Masanori Kohda
Since the pioneering work in chimpanzees, mirror self-recognition (MSR), the ability to recognise oneself in a mirror, has been reported in great apes, Asian elephants, dolphins, and some social birds using the mark test, in which animals that possess MSR touch an imperceptible mark on their own bodies only when a mirror is present. However, giant pandas, which are solitary, failed to pass the mark test, suggesting that MSR evolved solely in highly social animals. In contrast to the increasing evidence of MSR in mammals and birds, little is known about MSR in fish...
November 17, 2017: Animal Cognition
Malini Suchak, Julia Watzek, Luke F Quarles, Frans B M de Waal
Despite many observations of cooperation in nature, laboratory studies often fail to find careful coordination between individuals who are solving a cooperative task. Further, individuals tested are often naïve to cooperative tasks and there has been little exploration of partnerships with mixed expertise. In the current study, we examined acquisition of a cooperative pulling task in a group with both expert (N = 4) and novice (N = 11) chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). We used five measures of competence and understanding: (1) success at the task, (2) latency to succeed, (3) efficiency, (4) uncoordinated pulling, and (5) pulling when a partner was present versus absent...
November 17, 2017: Animal Cognition
Anna Scandurra, Alessandra Alterisio, Massimo Aria, Rosaria Vernese, Biagio D'Aniello
The present study assessed how dogs weigh gestural versus verbal information communicated to them by humans in transitive actions. The dogs were trained by their owners to fetch an object under three conditions: a bimodal congruent condition characterized by using gestures and voices simultaneously; a unimodal gestural condition characterized by using only gestures; and a unimodal verbal condition characterized by using only voices. An additional condition, defined as a bimodal incongruent condition, was later added, in which the gesture contrasted with the verbal command, that is, the owner indicated an object while pronouncing the name of the other object visible to dogs...
November 13, 2017: Animal Cognition
Zegni Triki, Redouan Bshary
Several species of primates, including humans, possess a spontaneous spatial mental arrangement (i.e. mental number line MNL) of increasing numbers or continuous quantities from left to right. This cognitive process has recently been documented in domestic chicken in a spatial-numerical task, opening the possibility that MNL is a cognitive capacity that has been conserved across vertebrate taxa. In this scenario, fish might possess the MNL as well. Here we investigated whether cleaner fish Labroides dimidiatus show evidence for MNL in two experiments...
November 13, 2017: Animal Cognition
Kinuyo Yoneya, Masayoshi Uefune, Junji Takabayashi
Using Cotesia vestalis, a parasitoid wasp of diamondback moth larvae and three crucifer plant species (cabbage, komatsuna, and Japanese radish), we examined the effects of exposure to host-infested plant volatiles from one plant species on a newly emerged wasp's subsequent olfactory cognition of host-infested plant volatiles from the same or different plant species. The preference of C. vestalis between infested and uninfested plant volatiles was tested in a choice chamber. Volatile-inexperienced wasps significantly preferred infested cabbage and infested radish volatiles, but not infested komatsuna volatiles...
October 25, 2017: Animal Cognition
Rachael C Shaw, Martin Schmelz
For the past two decades, behavioural ecologists have documented consistent individual differences in behavioural traits within species and found evidence for animal "personality". It is only relatively recently, however, that increasing numbers of researchers have begun to investigate individual differences in cognitive ability within species. It has been suggested that cognitive test batteries may provide an ideal tool for this growing research endeavour. In fact, cognitive test batteries have now been used to examine the causes, consequences and underlying structure of cognitive performance within and between many species...
November 2017: Animal Cognition
Dóra Szabó, Daniel S Mills, Friederike Range, Zsófia Virányi, Ádám Miklósi
A fundamental precept of the scientific method is reproducibility of methods and results, and there is growing concern over the failure to reproduce significant results. Family dogs have become a favoured species in comparative cognition research, but they may be subject to cognitive differences arising from genetic (breeding lines) or cultural differences (e.g. preferred training methods). Such variation is of concern as it affects the validity and generalisability of experimental results. Despite its importance, this problem has not been specifically addressed to date...
November 2017: Animal Cognition
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