Synopses & Reviews
How do animals perceive the world, learn, remember, search for food or mates, communicate, and find their way around? Do any nonhuman animals count, imitate one another, use a language, or have a culture? What are the uses of cognition in nature and how might it have evolved? What is the current status of Darwin's claim that other species share the same "mental powers" as humans, but to different degrees?
In this completely revised second edition of Cognition, Evolution, and Behavior, Sara Shettleworth addresses these questions, among others, by integrating findings from psychology, behavioral ecology, and ethology in a unique and wide-ranging synthesis of theory and research on animal cognition, in the broadest sense--from species-specific adaptations of vision in fish and associative learning in rats to discussions of theory of mind in chimpanzees, dogs, and ravens. She reviews the latest research on topics such as episodic memory, metacognition, and cooperation and other-regarding behavior in animals, as well as recent theories about what makes human cognition unique.
In every part of this new edition, Shettleworth incorporates findings and theoretical approaches that have emerged since the first edition was published in 1998. The chapters are now organized into three sections: Fundamental Mechanisms (perception, learning, categorization, memory), Physical Cognition (space, time, number, physical causation), and Social Cognition (social knowledge, social learning, communication). Shettleworth has also added new chapters on evolution and the brain and on numerical cognition, and a new chapter on physical causation that integrates theories of instrumental behavior with discussions of foraging, planning, and tool using.
"Sara Shettleworth has accomplished a truly impressive synthesis of an enormous body of research on a wide variety of animal species. I can think of no other work that so successfully and thoughtfully integrates research in both experimental psychology and behavioral ecology, and that so comprehensively describes the exciting new field of animal cognition. Her book is essential to anyone interested the evolution of animal minds and the mechanisms that guide animal thought." --Dorothy Cheney, University of Pennsylvania
"In the decade since the first edition was published, the field of comparative cognition has seen an expansive increase and diversification (Shettleworth, 2009*). Many advances have been made, and many new ideas have become influential. The revisions in this new edition represent an enormous undertaking, masterfully capturing the excitement of the past decade. Whether in spatial cognition or communication, the chapters remain both comprehensive and integrative, with additions highlighting significant and interesting developments in diverse topics. The range of issues discussed is staggering and attests to a highly skilful and balanced overview of what has become a complex and interdisciplinary field. The new edition is an improvement on an already great scholarly work, with much to say to diverse fields including comparative cognition, neuroethology, and behavioral ecology. It will be highly cited."
--Ken Cheng, Macquarie University
*Behavioural Processes 80:210-217
"Rigorous analyses of field and laboratory findings lie at the heart of this readable yet insightful examination of the uses and abuses of evolutionary theory and ecology in the study of animal cognition. Shettleworth's thought-provoking, up-to-date, interdisciplinary overview is essential reading for anyone with an interest in understanding the relationship between animal and human psychology."
--Bennett Galef, McMaster University
"If you are curious about animal behaviour, whether as an undergraduate or a graduate student or a researcher, then you absolutely must read this remarkable book. It is extraordinarily well written, erudite, yet simple, beautifully illustrated and perhaps more importantly, comprehensive and really up-to-date. Shettleworth has been a major influence in animal behaviour. As her earlier book, this one will no doubt contribute strongly to the ongoing paradigm shift in behaviour from all ecology to animal cognition: information gathering and processing and their effects on decision. Said simply, Shettleworth is a major artisan of putting 'behaviour' back into animal behaviour. It is a must read!"
--Luc-Alain Giraldeau, University of Québec at Montréal
"Sara Shettleworth has achieved an amazing synthesis of all the classical themes within behavioural sciences. This second edition is thoroughly up to date: over half the references have been published in the decade since the first edition, and they reflect all major advances in the rapidly changing fields of comparative cognition, learning theory and behavioural ecology. I will recommend this book to all my students, both undergraduates and graduates. And I will study it carefully myself." --Alex Kacelnik, Oxford University
"[This book is] written clearly and coherently, and will be accessible to students and scientists in many fields. Everyone interested in animal cognition should have this book. I can't wait to get a copy and then use it to teach an animal cognition course."--Alan Kamil, University of Nebraska
"This new edition is remarkably up to date, and the changes from the first faithfully reflect the new advances in the field. There is no serious competitor."
--Nicholas Mackintosh, Cambridge University
"We were huge fans of the first edition of this book. We are therefore delighted that the first edition is no longer the best available overview of comparative psychology: This second edition is. It is a magisterial overview of comparative psychology. If everyone in this field (and not just students) would stop working for a day and read this book, a great deal of senseless debate about animal minds would be avoided. Once a year, there should be an official "Shettleworth Day" for everybody in in comparative psychology to set aside their daily routines and meditate on the implications of this book for their own research."
--Derek C. Penn and Daniel J. Povinelli, University of Louisiana
"Shettleworth's second edition provides considerable synthesis and a greater theoretical amalgamation with other disciplines, such as child development, cognitive science and neuroscience. The result is a detailed, nuanced and biologically informed view of how and why the cognitive capacities of various species can be the same yet different."--Nature
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, and 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.
About the Author
is Professor Emerita in the Departments of Psychology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto, where she obtained her Ph.D. in 1970. Her research on learning and memory in a variety of species of birds and mammals has been published in over 100 articles and book chapters. Her contributions have been recognized by numerous awards, including the International Comparative Cognition Society's 2008 Research Award. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Animal Behavior Society, and a member of the Society of Experimental Psychologists.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Cognition and the study of behavior
1.1 What is comparative cognition about?
1.2 Kinds of explanation for behavior
1.3 Approaches to comparative cognition
Chapter 2. Evolution, behavior, and cognition: A primer
2.1 Testing adaptation
2.2 Mapping phylogeny
2.3 Evolution, cognition, and the structure of behavior
2.4 Evolution and the brain
2.5 What does all this have to do with comparative psychology?
2.6 Summarizing and looking ahead
Part I. Fundamental Mechanisms
Chapter 3. Perception and attention
3.1 Specialized sensory systems
3.2 How can we find out what animals perceive?
3.3 Some psychophysical principles
3.4 Signal detection theory
3.5 Perception and evolution: Sensory ecology
3.6 Search and attention
3.7 Attention and foraging: The behavioral ecology of attention
Chapter 4. Learning: Introduction and Pavlovian conditioning
4.1 General processes and "constraints on learning"
4.2 A framework for thinking about learning
4.3 When and how will learning evolve?
4.4 Pavlovian conditioning: Conditions for learning
4.5 What is learned?
4.6 Conditional control of behavior: Occasion setting and modulation
4.7 Effects of learning on behavior
4.8 Concluding remarks
Chapter 5. Recognition learning
5.2 Perceptual learning
5.4 The behavioral ecology of social recognition: Recognizing kin
5.5. Forms of recognition learning compared
Chapter 6. Discrimination, classification, and concepts
6.1 Three examples
6.2 Untrained responses to natural stimuli
6.3 Classifying complex natural stimuli
6.4 Discrimination learning
6.5 Category discrimination and concepts
6.6 Summary and conclusions
Chapter 7. Memory
7.1 Functions and properties of memory
7.2 Methods for studying memory in animals
7.3 Conditions for memory
7.4 Species differences in memory?
7.5 Mechanisms: What is remembered and why is it forgotten?
7.6 Memory and consciousness
7.7 Summary and conclusions
Part II. Physical Cognition
Chapter 8. Getting around: Spatial cognition
8.1 Mechanisms for spatial orientation
8.2 Modularity and integration
8.3 Acquiring spatial knowledge: The conditions for learning
8.4 Do animals have cognitive maps?
Chapter 9. Timing
9.1 Circadian rhythms
9.2 Interval timing: Data
9.3 Interval timing: Theories
9.4 Two timing systems?
Chapter 10. Numerical competence
10.1 Numerosity discrimination and the analogue magnitude system
10.2 The object tracking system
10.3. Ordinal comparison: Numerosity, serial position, and transitive inference
10.4 Labels and language
10.5 Numerical cognition and comparative psychology
Chapter 11. Cognition and the consequences of behavior: Foraging, planning, instrumental learning and using tools
11.2 Long term or short term maximizing: Do animals plan ahead?
11.3 Causal learning and instrumental behavior
11.4 Using tools
11.5 On causal learning and killjoy explanations
Part III. Social Cognition
Chapter 12. Social intelligence
12.1 The social intelligence hypothesis
12.2 The nature of social knowledge
12.3 Intentionality and social understanding
12.4 Theory of mind
Chapter 13. Social learning
13.1 Social learning in context
13.2 Mechanisms : Social learning without imitation
13.3 Mechanisms: Imitation
13.4 Do nonhuman animals teach?
13.5 Animal cultures?
Chapter 14. Communication and language
14.1 Basic issues
14.2 Natural communication systems
14.3 Trying to teach human language to other species
14.4 Language evolution and animal communication: Current directions
Chapter 15. Summing up and looking ahead
15.1 Modularity and the animal mind
15.2 Theory and method in comparative cognition
15.3 Humans vs. other species: Different in degree or kind?
15.4 The future: Tinbergen's four questions, and a fifth one