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  Subjects -> ANIMAL WELFARE (Total: 103 journals)
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Animal Cognition
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.389
Citation Impact (citeScore): 3
Number of Followers: 20  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1435-9456 - ISSN (Online) 1435-9448
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2467 journals]
  • Oscillatory extraction behaviour suggests functional attributes of
           crows’ hooked-stick tools

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      Abstract: Abstract New Caledonian crows are the only nonhuman animals known to craft hooked-sticks for use in foraging. Since their first description over 25 years ago, researchers have been unable to provide a detailed account of how these complex tools function in natural probe sites. Using close-up video footage, we document how a New Caledonian crow operated a hooked-stick to extract a large tree weta from a chamber in a tree trunk. The extraction technique had two distinct, separate components: (1) simultaneous oscillating head rotation and reciprocating bill action, and (2) measured pulling with the tool. Analysis of this first detailed field observation of hooked-stick use suggests a link between hooked-stick tool characteristics, functionality and skilled manipulation in natural prey extraction by these technological birds. Our findings also provide a rare, if not novel, example of tool-associated oscillatory manipulation in nonhuman animals.
      PubDate: 2023-02-01
       
  • When the owner does not know: comparing puppies and adult dogs’
           showing behavior

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      Abstract: Abstract Domestic dogs have been shown to engage in interspecific communication with their owners using a flexible repertoire of signals (i.e., gaze, vocalizations, and postures). This ability is influenced by ontogenetic development as well as breed selection. Different aspects of this phenomenon have been studied using the out of reach/hidden object task in which a piece of food is shown to the dog and then hidden in an unreachable spot by the experimenter. Dogs’ behavioral displays toward the target and the owner (ignorant about the location of the food) have been observed. The complex communicative behavior dogs exhibit in this context is defined as showing behavior and includes attention-getting components directed toward the owner, and directional components directed toward the target. No study has investigated the ontogenetic development of this behavior. In the current study, we compared the showing behavior in 4–6 month old puppies and 2–11 year old adults in an out of reach task involving the hiding of a food reward in one of two cabinets. Dogs were exposed to three conditions: (1) Owner with Food (OF), (2) Owner No Food (ONF), and (3) Alone with food (AF). Dogs showed more gaze alternations when both the food and the owner were present confirming the intentional and referential nature of this behavior. Contrary to our expectations, we found no differences between the showing behaviors of 4–6 month old puppies and adult dogs. This study provides interesting preliminary evidence of showing behavior in puppies. Further studies are needed to gain a deeper understanding of the factors influencing this communicative behavior (i.e., breed, level of training). Furthermore, longitudinal studies should be performed from the age of 2 months up to 1 and 2 years to better clarify the influence of development and experience on showing behavior in domestic dogs.
      PubDate: 2023-01-31
       
  • Impact of exploration behavior, aptitude for pellet consumption, and the
           predation practice on the performance in consecutive live prey foraging
           tests in a piscivorous species

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      Abstract: Abstract Within the predator–prey relationship, predator behavior is less studied. Even in natural populations, it shows great diversity, and the factors influencing this are even less known. Among these factors, the personality type of the individual, (including exploration, and neophilia) and the practice significantly influence the success of adapting to a changing environment and switching to new prey types. In the present study, we investigated the first five consecutive foraging trials on live fish prey in naïve pikeperch individuals, which previously consumed or refused pelleted food. We hypothesized that individuals which were willing to consume alternative (pelleted) food would also show higher foraging success on living prey and that the practice would influence the learning process. Our results show that the timing of prey detection is influenced by exploratory behavior, the latency of the first attack by the aptitude for consuming pellets, and both traits by the individual's practice. However, neither of the factor affects the latency and success rate of capturing the prey, suggesting that predation is an independent behavioral trait.
      PubDate: 2023-01-28
       
  • Vocal signals with different social or non-social contexts in two wild
           rodent species (Mus caroli and Rattus losea)

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      Abstract: Abstract The ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) of rodents play a substantial role in the communication and interaction between individuals; exhibit a high degree of complexity; and are influenced by a multitude of developmental, environmental, and phylogenetic factors. The functions of USVs are mainly studied in laboratory mice or rats. However, the behavioral relevance of USVs in wild rodents is poorly studied. In this work, we systematically investigated the vocal repertoire of the wild mouse Mus caroli and wild rat Rattus losea in multiple social or non-social contexts, e.g., pup-isolation, juvenile-play, paired opposite-sex encounter, female–female interaction, social-exploring, or foot-shock treatment. Unlike the laboratory mice, M. caroli, whose USVs were recorded during pup-isolation and courtship behaviors, did not produce any vocal sounds during juvenile-play and female–female interactions. R. losea, similar to laboratory rats, emitted USVs in all test situations. We found higher peak frequencies of USVs in both these two wild rodent species than in laboratory animals. Moreover, the parameters and structures of USVs varied significantly across different social or non-social contexts even within each species, confirming the context-sensitivity and complexity of vocal signals in rodents. We also noted a striking difference in call types between these two species: no downward type occurred in M. caroli, but no upward type occurred in R. losea, thereby highlighting the interspecific difference of vocal signals among rodents. Thus, the present study presents behavioral foundations of the vocalization context in wild mice and wild rats, and contributes to revealing the behavioral significance of widely used USVs in rodents.
      PubDate: 2023-01-23
       
  • Response of the weeping lizard to distress calls: the effect of witnessing
           predation

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      Abstract: Abstract Escaping from predation saves life, but costs energy and time. The “threat-sensitive predator-avoidance” hypothesis proposes that prey may modulate their antipredator responses, and thus the associated costs, in accordance with the magnitude of predation risk. This process requires that prey accurately assess this risk by decoding available information from various sources. For example, distress calls are uttered by prey when a predator traps them and can serve as public information on predation risk. Such is the case for the weeping lizard whose distress calls trigger immobility in conspecifics. Here, we tested whether this antipredator response of the weeping lizard is modulated by witnessing predation. We exposed lizards to distress calls alone or paired with models of a prey (conspecific), a predator (snake), or a predatory event (a snake subjugating the conspecific). Data show that the sole presence of the predator or prey paired with distress calls seems not to modulate the antipredator responses. Contrarily, witnessing a predatory event associated with calls intensified antipredator responses; lizards reduced their activity for longer and avoided proximity to the stimuli, which may decrease predation risk by reducing the likelihood of being detected by the predator. We conclude that the weeping lizard can use multisensorial public information to assess predation risk and modulate its antipredator responses.
      PubDate: 2023-01-21
       
  • Appeasement function of displacement behaviours' Dogs’ behavioural
           displays exhibited towards threatening and neutral humans

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      Abstract: Abstract Appeasement signals are behavioural patterns displaying an animal’s non-aggressive attitude and are hypothesized to reduce the aggressive behaviours in the receiver. In domestic dogs, specific displacement behaviours (i.e., behavioural patterns exhibited without an apparent function related to the ongoing situation), have been suggested to function as appeasement signals. To test this possibility, we assessed whether the occurrence of these behaviours was dependent on a social conflict context, predicting that, if displacement behaviours also function as appeasement signals, they should be more prevalent in a conflict vs. non-conflict context. Fifty-three dogs were exposed to two unfamiliar humans approaching them in either a mildly threatening or neutral way. We categorized the attitude of the dogs towards the strangers as “reactive”, i.e., barking and lunging towards the stimulus, and “non-reactive”, i.e., remaining passive in front of the stimuli. We coded dogs’ displacement activities and modelled their duration or frequency as a function of the interaction between the test condition and the attitude of the dog. Displacement behaviours of “blinking”, “nose licking” and “lip wiping” were associated with a “non-reactive” attitude, independently from the test condition, confirming an association with a non-aggressive intention. “Head turning” was associated with a “non-reactive” attitude in the threatening condition. In conclusion, dogs with a non-aggressive attitude exhibited more putative appeasement signals; however, these were not strictly associated with a conflict-ridden situation, calling for further investigation of their function.
      PubDate: 2023-01-20
       
  • Emulative learning of a two-step task in free-ranging domestic pigs

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      Abstract: Abstract Previous research showed that young domestic pigs learn through observation of conspecifics by using social learning mechanisms like social facilitation, enhancement effects, and even object movement re-enactment. The latter suggests some form of emulative learning in which the observer learns about the object’s movements and affordances. As it remains unclear whether pigs need a social agent to learn about objects, we provided 36 free-ranging domestic pigs with varying degrees of social to non-social demonstrations on how to solve a two-step manipulative foraging task: observers watched either a conspecific or a human demonstrator, or self-moving objects ("ghost control"), or a ghost control accompanied by an inactive conspecific bystander. In addition, 22 subjects that were previously tested without any demonstrator were used as a non-observer control. To solve the task, the subjects had to first remove a plug from its recess to then be able to slide a cover to the side, which would lay open a food compartment. Observers interacted longer with the relevant objects (plugs) and were more successful in solving the task compared to non-observers. We found no differences with regard to success between the four observer groups, indicating that the pigs mainly learned about the apparatus rather than about the actions. As the only common feature of the different demonstrations was the movement of the plug and the cover, we conclude the observer pigs learned primarily by emulation, suggesting that social agents are not necessary for pigs when learning through observation.
      PubDate: 2023-01-18
       
  • Canine perspective-taking

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      Abstract: Abstract An important question in the study of canine cognition is how dogs understand humans, given that they show impressive abilities for interacting and communicating with us. In this review, we describe and discuss studies that have investigated dogs’ perspective-taking abilities. There is solid evidence that dogs are not only sensitive to the gaze of others, but also their attention. We specifically address the question whether dogs have the ability to take the perspective of others and thus come to understand what others can or cannot perceive. From the latter, they may then infer what others know and use this representation to anticipate what others do next. Still, dogs might simply rely on directly observable cues and on what they themselves can perceive when they assess what others can perceive. And instead of making inferences from representations of others' mental states, they may have just learned that certain behaviours of ours lead to certain outcomes. However, recent research seems to challenge this low-level explanation. Dogs have solved several perspective-taking tasks instantly and reliably across a large number of variations, including geometrical gaze-following, stealing in the dark, concealing information from others, and Guesser/Knower differentiation. In the latter studies, dogs' choices between two human informants were strongly influenced by cues related to the humans’ visual access to the food, even when the two informants behaved identically. And finally, we review a recent study that found dogs reacting differently to misleading suggestions of human informants that have either a true or false belief about the location of food. We discuss this surprising result in terms of the comprehension of reality-incongruent mental states, which is considered as a hallmark of Theory of Mind acquisition in human development. Especially on the basis of the latter findings, we conclude that pet dogs might be sensitive to what others see, know, intend, and believe. Therefore, this ability seems to have evolved not just in the corvid and primate lineages, but also in dogs.
      PubDate: 2023-01-11
       
  • Individual consistency in the learning abilities of honey bees: cognitive
           specialization within sensory and reinforcement modalities

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      Abstract: Abstract The question of whether individuals perform consistently across a variety of cognitive tasks is relevant for studies of comparative cognition. The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is an appropriate model to study cognitive consistency as its learning can be studied in multiple elemental and non-elemental learning tasks. We took advantage of this possibility and studied if the ability of honey bees to learn a simple discrimination correlates with their ability to solve two tasks of higher complexity, reversal learning and negative patterning. We performed four experiments in which we varied the sensory modality of the stimuli (visual or olfactory) and the type (Pavlovian or operant) and complexity (elemental or non-elemental) of conditioning to examine if stable correlated performances could be observed across experiments. Across all experiments, an individual’s proficiency to learn the simple discrimination task was positively and significantly correlated with performance in both reversal learning and negative patterning, while the performances in reversal learning and negative patterning were positively, yet not significantly correlated. These results suggest that correlated performances across learning paradigms represent a distinct cognitive characteristic of bees. Further research is necessary to examine if individual cognitive consistency can be found in other insect species as a common characteristic of insect brains.
      PubDate: 2023-01-06
       
  • Second verse, same as the first: learning generalizable relational
           concepts through functional repetition

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      Abstract: Abstract The ability to learn and flexibly apply sophisticated concepts is thought by many to be what differentiates humans from all other animals. A basic assumption underlying this belief is that some “lower-order” associative learning mechanisms link perceptual events to specific reactions, whereas the kinds of verbalizable concepts that humans form depend on “higher-order” cognitive processes that rely less on perception and more on rational thought. Evidence in support of this interpretation comes largely from experiments in which animals either fail to learn or generalize concepts that humans readily learn, or learn them with great difficulty. Here, we argue that the formation of generalizable relational concepts may depend more on an individual’s capacity to shift attention than on the possession of representational processes that are unique to humans. Studies of relational concept learning in non-human animals show that they can learn generalizable concepts when conditions are favorable. In particular, repetition of similar training experiences appears to facilitate attentional redirection, thereby enabling animals to flexibly reenact past events and to judge the similarity of items within stimulus sets. The conditions that promote concept learning in humans may differ substantially from those experienced by most other animals. This does not imply, however, that either (1) conceptual learning mechanisms differ qualitatively from other learning mechanisms, or (2) that the processes that lead to concept formation in humans differ significantly from those present in other species.
      PubDate: 2023-01-01
       
  • From representations to servomechanisms to oscillators: my journey in the
           study of cognition

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      Abstract: Abstract The study of comparative cognition bloomed in the 1970s and 1980s with a focus on representations in the heads of animals that undergird what animals can achieve. Even in action-packed domains such as navigation and spatial cognition, a focus on representations prevailed. In the 1990s, I suggested a conception of navigation in terms of navigational servomechanisms. A servomechanism can be said to aim for a goal, with deviations from the goal-directed path registering as an error. The error drives action to reduce the error in a negative-feedback loop. This loop, with the action reducing the very signal that drove action in the first place, is key to defining a servomechanism. Even though actions are crucial components of servomechanisms, my focus was on the representational component that encodes signals and evaluates errors. Recently, I modified and amplified this view in claiming that, in navigation, servomechanisms operate by modulating the performance of oscillators, endogenous units that produce periodic action. The pattern is found from bacteria travelling micrometres to sea turtles travelling thousands of kilometres. This pattern of servomechanisms working with oscillators is found in other realms of cognition and of life. I think that oscillators provide an effective way to organise an organism’s own activities while servomechanisms provide an effective means to adjust to the organism’s environment, including that of its own body.
      PubDate: 2023-01-01
       
  • A comparative study of mirror self-recognition in three corvid species

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      Abstract: Abstract Mirror self-recognition (MSR) assessed by the Mark Test has been the staple test for the study of animal self-awareness. When tested in this paradigm, corvid species return discrepant results, with only the Eurasian magpies and the Indian house crow successfully passing the test so far, whereas multiple other corvid species fail. The lack of replicability of these positive results and the large divergence in applied methodologies calls into question whether the observed differences are in fact phylogenetic or methodological, and, if so, which factors facilitate the expression of MSR in some corvids. In this study, we (1) present new results on the self-recognition abilities of common ravens, (2) replicate results of azure-winged magpies, and (3) compare the mirror responses and performances in the mark test of these two corvid species with a third corvid species: carrion crows, previously tested following the same experimental procedure. Our results show interspecies differences in the approach of and the response to the mirror during the mirror exposure phase of the experiment as well as in the subsequent mark test. However, the performances of these species in the Mark Test do not provide any evidence for their ability of self-recognition. Our results add to the ongoing discussion about the convergent evolution of MSR and we advocate for consistent methodologies and procedures in comparing this ability across species to advance this discussion.
      PubDate: 2023-01-01
       
  • Smart sharks: a review of chondrichthyan cognition

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      Abstract: Abstract 450 million years of evolution have given chondrichthyans (sharks, rays and allies) ample time to adapt perfectly to their respective everyday life challenges and cognitive abilities have played an important part in that process. The diversity of niches that sharks and rays occupy corresponds to matching diversity in brains and behaviour, but we have only scratched the surface in terms of investigating cognition in this important group of animals. The handful of species that have been cognitively assessed in some detail over the last decade have provided enough data to safely conclude that sharks and rays are cognitively on par with most other vertebrates, including mammals and birds. Experiments in the lab as well as in the wild pose their own unique challenges, mainly due to the handling and maintenance of these animals as well as controlling environmental conditions and elimination of confounding factors. Nonetheless, significant advancements have been obtained in the fields of spatial and social cognition, discrimination learning, memory retention as well as several others. Most studies have focused on behaviour and the underlying neural substrates involved in cognitive information processing are still largely unknown. Our understanding of shark cognition has multiple practical benefits for welfare and conservation management but there are obvious gaps in our knowledge. Like most marine animals, sharks and rays face multiple threats. The effects of climate change, pollution and resulting ecosystem changes on the cognitive abilities of sharks and stingrays remain poorly investigated and we can only speculate what the likely impacts might be based on research on bony fishes. Lastly, sharks still suffer from their bad reputation as mindless killers and are heavily targeted by commercial fishing operations for their fins. This public relations issue clouds people’s expectations of shark intelligence and is a serious impediment to their conservation. In the light of the fascinating results presented here, it seems obvious that the general perception of sharks and rays as well as their status as sentient, cognitive animals, needs to be urgently revisited.
      PubDate: 2023-01-01
       
  • Life is in motion (through a chick’s eye)

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      Abstract: Abstract Cognitive scientists, social psychologists, computer scientists, neuroscientists, ethologists and many others have all wondered how brains detect and interpret the motion of living organisms. It appears that specific cues, incorporated into our brains by natural selection, serve to signal the presence of living organisms. A simple geometric figure such as a triangle put in motion with specific kinematic rules can look alive, and it can even seem to have intentions and goals. In this article, we survey decades of parallel investigations on the motion cues that drive animacy perception—the sensation that something is alive—in non-human animals, especially in precocial species, such as the domestic chick, to identify inborn biological predispositions. At the same time, we highlight the relevance of these studies for an understanding of human typical and atypical cognitive development.
      PubDate: 2023-01-01
       
  • Does Pet Parenting Style predict the social and problem-solving behavior
           of pet dogs (Canis lupus familiaris)'

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      Abstract: Abstract The behavior and cognition of pet domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) has drawn increasing scientific attention over the last several decades. One area of focus has been the influence of lifetime variables, including the home environment and prior experiences, on the social and problem-solving behavior of dogs. While the human–dog relationship has become an important area of study, only a few studies have empirically investigated how the quality of that relationship may influence a dog’s performance on behavioral or cognitive tasks. In the current study, we asked if a human caretaker’s self-reported expectations and patterns of responding towards their dog (Pet Parenting Style) would predict the dog’s social and problem-solving behavior. Owners who had previously been asked to complete a Pet Parenting Style survey were later invited to have their dogs participate in three behavioral tests: The Secure Base Test, a Sociability Test and the Solvable Task. Consistent with the human development literature, results indicated that Pet Parenting Styles did predict patterns of dog behavior and cognition on these tests. On average, dogs with authoritative owners (high expectations, high responsiveness) had the highest rate of secure attachment, were highly social, sensitive to social context and were more persistent and successful on the problem-solving task than dogs with authoritarian owners (high expectations and low responsiveness) and permissive owners (low expectations, low responsiveness). These findings suggest that the quality and style of individual dog–human relationships, including Pet Parenting Style, may be relevant when evaluating and interpreting outcomes of canine cognition research.
      PubDate: 2023-01-01
       
  • Animal cognition, past present and future, a 25th anniversary special
           issue

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      PubDate: 2022-12-24
       
  • Recent developments in parrot cognition: a quadrennial update

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      Abstract: Abstract Psittacines, along with corvids, are commonly referred to as ‘feathered apes’ due to their advanced cognitive abilities. Until rather recently, the research effort on parrot cognition was lagging behind that on corvids, however current developments show that the number of parrot studies is steadily increasing. In 2018, M. L. Lambert et al. provided a comprehensive review on the status of the most important work done so far in parrot and corvid cognition. Nevertheless, only a little more than 4 years after this publication, more than 50 new parrot studies have been published, some of them chartering completely new territory. On the 25th anniversary of Animal Cognition we think this warrants a detailed review of parrot cognition research over the last 4 years. We aim to capture recent developments and current trends in this rapidly expanding and diversifying field.
      PubDate: 2022-12-22
       
  • The PROUST hypothesis: the embodiment of olfactory cognition

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      Abstract: Abstract The extension of cognition beyond the brain to the body and beyond the body to the environment is an area of debate in philosophy and the cognitive sciences. Yet, these debates largely overlook olfaction, a sensory modality used by most animals. Here, I use the philosopher’s framework to explore the implications of embodiment for olfactory cognition. The philosopher’s 4E framework comprises embodied cognition, emerging from a nervous system characterized by its interactions with its body. The necessity of action for perception adds enacted cognition. Cognition is further embedded in the sensory inputs of the individual and is extended beyond the individual to information stored in its physical and social environments. Further, embodiment must fulfill the criterion of mutual manipulability, where an agent’s cognitive state is involved in continual, reciprocal influences with its environment. Cognition cannot be understood divorced from evolutionary history, however, and I propose adding evolved, as a fifth term to the 4E framework. We must, therefore, begin at the beginning, with chemosensation, a sensory modality that underlies purposive behavior, from bacteria to humans. The PROUST hypothesis (perceiving and reconstructing odor utility in space and time) describers how olfaction, this ancient scaffold and common denominator of animal cognition, fulfills the criteria of embodied cognition. Olfactory cognition, with its near universal taxonomic distribution as well as the near absence of conscious representation in humans, may offer us the best sensorimotor system for the study of embodiment.
      PubDate: 2022-12-21
       
  • Clever pest control' The role of cognition in biological pest
           regulation

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      Abstract: Abstract Crop pest management is a global challenge. Increases in agricultural intensity due to anthropogenic demands, alongside the need to reduce the reliance on pesticides to minimize environmental harm, have resulted in an urgent need to improve and expand other methods of pest control. One increasingly utilized method is biological pest control, in which natural pest predators are used to regulating crop pests. Current approaches to biological pest regulation assess the importance of a pest controller by examining its ability to maintain pest populations over an extended period. However, this approach lacks efficiency, specificity, and efficacy because it does not take into account crucial factors which determine how predators find, evaluate and remember food sources—the cognitive processes underlying their behavior. This review will investigate the cognitive factors involved in biological pest control and examine how these factors may be manipulated to impact pest behavior and pest controller performance.
      PubDate: 2022-12-17
       
  • Correction: Varieties of visual navigation in insects

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      PubDate: 2022-12-13
       
 
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