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Animal ThinkingContemporary Issues in Comparative Cognition$
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Randolf Menzel and Julia Fischer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016636

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016636.001.0001

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Animal Thinking

Animal Thinking

An Introduction

(p.1) 1 Animal Thinking
Animal Thinking

Randolf Menzel

Julia Fischer

The MIT Press

Since the advent of the cognitive revolution in the 1960s, animals have been viewed as goal-seeking agents that acquire, store, retrieve, and internally process information at many levels of cognitive complexity. This paved the way for an immensely productive research program. While this field benefited from insights into the proximate causes of animal behavior, awareness grew of the importance of taking a species’ evolutionary history and ecological adaptation into account, an insight which led to a multitude of field studies with a large range of animal species. Studies in the field and lab are now performed in concert to compensate for their respective limitations. It is this combined approach which makes current cognitive behavioral studies so rich. This identifies key questions at the frontier of present research and discusses how these questions can be translated into experiments and observations.

Keywords:   Strüngmann Forum Reports, navigation, animal behavior, social cognition, decision making, planning, animal communication

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