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Animal Cognition

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28730513/element-repetition-rates-encode-functionally-distinct-information-in-pied-babbler-clucks-and-purrs
#1
Sabrina Engesser, Amanda R Ridley, Simon W Townsend
Human language is a recombinant system that achieves its productivity through the combination of a limited set of sounds. Research investigating the evolutionary origin of this generative capacity has generally focused on the capacity of non-human animals to combine different types of discrete sounds to encode new meaning, with less emphasis on meaning-differentiating mechanisms achieved through potentially simpler temporal modifications within a sequence of repeated sounds. Here we show that pied babblers (Turdoides bicolor) generate two functionally distinct vocalisations composed of the same sound type, which can only be distinguished by the number of repeated elements...
July 20, 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28721574/operant-discrimination-of-relative-frequency-ratios-in-black-capped-chickadee-song
#2
Sean P Roach, Daniel J Mennill, Leslie S Phillmore
The two-note fee bee song of the black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) is sung at many different absolute frequencies, but the relative frequencies, or "pitch ratios", between the start and end of the fee note (glissando) and the fee and the bee notes (inter-note interval) are preserved with each pitch-shift. Ability to perceive these ratios and their relative salience varies with sex of the bird and setting: while both sexes appear to perceive changes in the inter-note interval, males appear to attend to the glissando in the field, and females appear to attend to both ratios...
July 18, 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28707141/do-literate-pigeons-columba-livia-show-mirror-word-generalization
#3
Damian Scarf, Michael C Corballis, Onur Güntürkün, Michael Colombo
Many children pass through a mirror stage in reading, where they write individual letters or digits in mirror and find it difficult to correctly utilize letters that are mirror images of one another (e.g., b and d). This phenomenon is thought to reflect the fact that the brain does not naturally discriminate left from right. Indeed, it has been argued that reading acquisition involves the inhibition of this default process. In the current study, we tested the ability of literate pigeons, which had learned to discriminate between 30 and 62 words from 7832 nonwords, to discriminate between words and their mirror counterparts...
July 13, 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28698931/how-to-stay-perfect-the-role-of-memory-and-behavioural-traits-in-an-experienced-problem-and-a-similar-problem
#4
Pizza Ka Yee Chow, Stephen E G Lea, Natalie Hempel de Ibarra, Théo Robert
When animals encounter a task they have solved previously, or the same problem appears in a different apparatus, how does memory, alongside behavioural traits such as persistence, selectivity and flexibility, enhance problem-solving efficiency? We examined this question by first presenting grey squirrels with a puzzle 22 months after their last experience of it (the recall task). Squirrels were then given the same problem presented in a physically different apparatus (the generalisation task) to test whether they would apply the previously learnt tactics to solve the same problem but in a different apparatus...
July 11, 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28695349/temperament-and-problem-solving-in-a-population-of-adolescent-guide-dogs
#5
Emily E Bray, Mary D Sammel, Robert M Seyfarth, James A Serpell, Dorothy L Cheney
It is often assumed that measures of temperament within individuals are more correlated to one another than to measures of problem solving. However, the exact relationship between temperament and problem-solving tasks remains unclear because large-scale studies have typically focused on each independently. To explore this relationship, we tested 119 prospective adolescent guide dogs on a battery of 11 temperament and problem-solving tasks. We then summarized the data using both confirmatory factor analysis and exploratory principal components analysis...
July 10, 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28695348/acquisition-of-joint-attention-by-olive-baboons-gesturing-toward-humans
#6
Augustine Lamaury, Hélène Cochet, Marie Bourjade
Joint attention is a core ability of human social cognition which broadly refers to the coordination of attention with both the presence and activity of social partners. In both human and non-human primates, joint attention can be assessed from behaviour; gestures and gaze alternation between the partner and a distal object are standard behavioural manifestations of joint attention. Here we examined the acquisition of joint attention in olive baboons as a function of their individual experience of a human partner's attentional states during training regimes...
July 10, 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28681226/post-weaning-social-and-cognitive-performance-of-piglets-raised-pre-weaning-either-in-a-complex-multi-suckling-group-housing-system-or-in-a-conventional-system-with-a-crated-sow
#7
S E van Nieuwamerongen, M Mendl, S Held, N M Soede, J E Bolhuis
We studied the social and cognitive performance of piglets raised pre-weaning either in a conventional system with a sow in a farrowing crate (FC) or in a multi-suckling (MS) system in which 5 sows and their piglets could interact in a more physically enriched and spacious environment. After weaning at 4 weeks of age, 8 groups of 4 litter-mates per pre-weaning housing treatment were studied under equal and enriched post-weaning housing conditions. From each pen, one pair consisting of a dominant and a submissive pig was selected, based on a feed competition test (FCT) 2 weeks post-weaning...
July 5, 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28669115/rats-know-when-they-remember-transfer-of-metacognitive-responding-across-odor-based-delayed-match-to-sample-tests
#8
Victoria L Templer, Keith A Lee, Aidan J Preston
Metamemory entails cognitively assessing the strength of one's memories. We tested the ability of nine Long-Evans rats to distinguish between remembering and forgetting by presenting a decline option that allowed a four-choice odor-based delayed match to sample (DMTS) tests to be by-passed. Rats performed significantly better on tests they chose to take than on tests they were forced to take, indicating metacognitive responding. However, rather than control by internal mnemonic cues, one alternative explanation is that decline use is based on external test-specific cues that become associated with increased rewards overtime...
July 1, 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28669114/sure-enough-efficient-bayesian-learning-and-choice
#9
Brad R Foley, Paul Marjoram
Probabilistic decision-making is a general phenomenon in animal behavior, and has often been interpreted to reflect the relative certainty of animals' beliefs. Extensive neurological and behavioral results increasingly suggest that animal beliefs may be represented as probability distributions, with explicit accounting of uncertainty. Accordingly, we develop a model that describes decision-making in a manner consistent with this understanding of neuronal function in learning and conditioning. This first-order Markov, recursive Bayesian algorithm is as parsimonious as its minimalist point-estimate, Rescorla-Wagner analogue...
July 1, 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28653115/recognition-of-human-faces-by-dogs-canis-familiaris-requires-visibility-of-head-contour
#10
Paolo Mongillo, Anna Scandurra, Robin S S Kramer, Lieta Marinelli
Researchers have suggested that dogs are able to recognise human faces, but conclusive evidence has yet to be found. Experiment 1 of this study investigated whether dogs can recognise humans using visual information from the face/head region, and whether this also occurs in conditions of suboptimal visibility of the face. Dogs were presented with their owner's and a stranger's heads, protruding through openings of an apparatus in opposite parts of the experimental setting. Presentations occurred in conditions of either optimal or suboptimal visibility; the latter featured non-frontal orientation, uneven illumination and invisibility of outer contours of the heads...
June 26, 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28639012/the-effect-of-social-learning-on-avoidance-of-aposematic-prey-in-juvenile-great-tits-parus-major
#11
Eva Landová, Kateřina Hotová Svádová, Roman Fuchs, Pavel Štys, Alice Exnerová
Social learning plays an important role in acquiring new foraging skills and food preferences in many bird species but its potential role in learning to avoid aposematic prey has never been studied. We tested the effect of social learning on the acquisition of avoidance of aposematic insect prey (firebug Pyrrhocoris apterus; Heteroptera) in juvenile, hand-reared great tits (Parus major). Behaviour towards aposematic prey was compared between two groups of birds: (1) the observers that were, prior to encounter with firebugs, allowed to watch the experienced conspecific demonstrator repeatedly refuse to attack the prey, and (2) the control birds that lacked this opportunity...
June 21, 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28634675/wild-capuchin-monkeys-anticipate-the-amount-of-ripe-fruit-in-natural-trees
#12
María Paula Tujague, Charles H Janson
Tropical forests have a high diversity of tree species which have very low densities and vary across time in their seasons of peak fruiting and maturation rates. As evidence of the ability of primates to track or anticipate changes in fruit production at individual trees, researchers have used the increased speed of primate groups toward more rewarding food patches. We analyzed the speed of approach to natural trees of wild capuchin monkeys under the effect of scramble competition, after excluding any plausible visual, olfactory and auditory cues...
June 20, 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28620776/quantity-discrimination-in-angelfish-pterophyllum-scalare-is-maintained-after-a-30-s-retention-interval-in-the-large-but-not-in-the-small-number-range
#13
Luis M Gómez-Laplaza, Álvaro L Caicoya, Robert Gerlai
The ability to discriminate between sets that differ in the number of elements can be useful in different contexts and may have survival and fitness consequences. As such, numerical/quantity discrimination has been demonstrated in a diversity of animal species. In the laboratory, this ability has been analyzed, for example, using binary choice tests. Furthermore, when the different number of items first presented to the subjects are subsequently obscured, i.e., are not visible at the moment of making a choice, the task requires memory for the size of the sets...
June 15, 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28616841/zebrafish-prefer-larger-to-smaller-shoals-analysis-of-quantity-estimation-in-a-genetically-tractable-model-organism
#14
Diane Seguin, Robert Gerlai
Numerical abilities have been demonstrated in a variety of non-human vertebrates. However, underlying biological mechanisms have been difficult to study due to a paucity of experimental tools. Powerful genetic and neurobiological tools already exist for the zebrafish, but numerical abilities remain scarcely explored with this species. Here, we investigate the choice made by single experimental zebrafish between numerically different shoals of conspecifics presented concurrently on opposite sides of the experimental tank...
June 14, 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28600681/responses-to-familiar-and-unfamiliar-objects-by-belugas-delphinapterus-leucas-bottlenose-dolphins-tursiops-truncatus-and-pacific-white-sided-dolphins-lagenorhynchus-obliquidens
#15
Sara Guarino, Deirdre Yeater, Steve Lacy, Tricia Dees, Heather M Hill
Previous research with bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) demonstrated their ability to discriminate between familiar and unfamiliar stimuli. Dolphins gazed longer at unfamiliar stimuli. The current study attempted to extend this original research by examining the responses of three species of cetaceans to objects that differed in familiarity. Eleven belugas from two facilities, five bottlenose dolphins and five Pacific white-sided dolphins housed at one facility were presented different objects in a free-swim scenario...
June 9, 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28577256/dominance-and-social-information-use-in-a-lizard
#16
Fonti Kar, Martin J Whiting, Daniel W A Noble
There is mounting evidence that social learning is not just restricted to group-living animals, but also occurs in species with a wide range of social systems. However, we still have a poor understanding of the factors driving individual differences in social information use. We investigated the effects of relative dominance on social information use in the eastern water skink (Eulamprus quoyii), a species with age-dependent social learning. We used staged contests to establish dominant-subordinate relationships in pairs of lizards and tested whether observers use social information to more quickly solve both an association and reversal learning task in situations where the demonstrator was either dominant or subordinate...
June 2, 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28540504/can-but-don-t-olfactory-discrimination-between-own-and-alien-offspring-in-the-domestic-cat
#17
Oxána Bánszegi, Elisa Jacinto, Andrea Urrutia, Péter Szenczi, Robyn Hudson
Mammalian maternal care usually comes at a large energetic cost. To maximize their fitness, mothers should preferentially care for their own offspring. However, the majority of studies of mother-offspring recognition have focused on herd- or colony-living species and there is little information on maternal discrimination in more solitary-living species. Olfaction has been found to play a major role in mother-offspring recognition across various taxa. Therefore, our aim was to study this in a species evolved from a solitary-living ancestor, the domestic cat...
July 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28536954/sex-differences-in-dogs-social-learning-of-spatial-information
#18
Claudia Fugazza, Paolo Mongillo, Lieta Marinelli
We used a modified version of the Do as I Do paradigm to investigate dogs' preference and flexibility in the acquisition of different types of spatial information in social learning situations. When required to match the location of the demonstration, dogs (N = 16) preferentially relied on allocentric information, i.e., the relationship between the location of the demonstration and the various objects surrounding it. However, when allocentric cues were inadequate to solve the task, dogs learned to rely on egocentric information, i...
July 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28508126/what-s-the-point-golden-and-labrador-retrievers-living-in-kennels-do-not-understand-human-pointing-gestures
#19
Biagio D'Aniello, Alessandra Alterisio, Anna Scandurra, Emanuele Petremolo, Maria Rosaria Iommelli, Massimo Aria
In many studies that have investigated whether dogs' capacities to understand human pointing gestures are aspects of evolutionary or developmental social competences, family-owned dogs have been compared to shelter dogs. However, for most of these studies, the origins of shelter dogs were unknown. Some shelter dogs may have lived with families before entering shelters, and from these past experiences, they may have learned to understand human gestures. Furthermore, there is substantial variation in the methodology and analytic approaches used in such studies (e...
July 2017: Animal Cognition
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28508125/judgement-bias-in-pigs-is-independent-of-performance-in-a-spatial-holeboard-task-and-conditional-discrimination-learning
#20
Sanne Roelofs, Eimear Murphy, Haifang Ni, Elise Gieling, Rebecca E Nordquist, F Josef van der Staay
Biases in judgement of ambiguous stimuli, as measured in a judgement bias task, have been proposed as a measure of the valence of affective states in animals. We recently suggested a list of criteria for behavioural tests of emotion, one of them stating that responses on the task used to assess emotionality should not be confounded by, among others, differences in learning capacity, i.e. must not simply reflect the cognitive capacity of an animal. We performed three independent studies in which pigs acquired a spatial holeboard task, a free choice maze which simultaneously assesses working memory and reference memory...
July 2017: Animal Cognition
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