How do animals perceive the world, learn, remember, search for food or mates, and find their way around? Do any non-human animals count, imitate one another, use a language, or think as we do? What use is cognition in nature and how might it have evolved? Historically, research on such questions has been fragmented between psychology, where the emphasis has been on theoretical models and lab experiments, and biology, where studies focus on evolution and the adaptive use of perception, learning, and decision-making in the field.
Cognition, Evolution and the Study of Behavior integrates research from psychology, behavioral ecology, and ethology in a wide-ranging synthesis of theory and research about animal cognition in the broadest sense, from species-specific adaptations in fish to cognitive mapping in rats and honeybees to theories of mind for chimpanzees. As a major contribution to the emerging discipline of comparative cognition, the book is an invaluable resource for all students and researchers in psychology, zoology, behavioral neuroscience. It will also interest general readers curious about the details of how and why animals--including humans--process, retain, and use information as they do.
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Sara J. Shettleworth, Professor of Psychology, University of Toronto.Review:
"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
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