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Flashcards in Intro 1-Animal Learning/Cognition Deck (75)
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Why study animal cognition?

Comparative psychology (across different species). Can be used to answer questions not possible or easy to do with humans but can generalise results to humans. Can manipulate events in environment not possible for humans. Animals don't know it is an experiment (no demand characteristics/social desirability). Animals lack symbolic systems of representations. Possible to use manipulations that allow assessment of neural basis of learning and memory


Who was Romanes?

Wrote Animal Intelligence. Linear idea of evolution and a hierarchy of intelligence


Who was Lloyd Morgan?

Against anthropomorphism. Argued against animals having the same motivations etc as humans. Disagreed with Romanes' book and even wrote to Nature Journal about its problems (scorpions/suicide). Said that we should not explain things by a higher explanation if it could be interpreted lower on the psychological scale, eg a dog opening a gate due to trial and error rather than insight


Who was Thorndike?

Study with puzzle boxes. Trial by learning curve compared to hypothetical learning curve


What is Thorndike's law of effect?

If a response leads to a satisfying outcome then it will be strengthened. Animals have no expectationof outcome when interacting with a stimulus


Who was Watson?

He advocated for the importance of learning, behaviourism (moving from subjectivity to objectivity to help psychology become a science like the natural science), and the use of animals


What is Skinner most famous for?

Instrumental, or operant, conditioning


Do animals only learn about a response?

Stage 1 lever press, food and chain pull, sucrose. Stage 2 food, illness and sucrose, nothing. Test-lever and chain (Colwill and Rescorla)


What are different schedules of reinforcement?

Fixed ratio, fixed interval, variable ratio, variable interval


What is Pavolvian, or classical, conditioning?

Type1/respondent conditioning, involving a CS, US, UR and CR


What are key features of classical conditioning?

Acquisition, extinction, spontaneous recovery, stimulus generalisation, generalisation gradient and generalisation decrement


What was Banks and Flora's study?

Asked participants to rank animals from 1-10 based on their intelligence. Justifications for rankings included appearance, Aristotle's Great Chain of Being, and brain size


How did Romanes rank animals?

Insects-bird-apes-humans. Too simplistic eg humans have not evolved further than birds. Difficult to use evolution as an explanation for intelligence differences between animals


How can brain size potentially explain intelligence differences across species?

Difficult explanation as humans are bigger so need bigger brains. Jerison used cephalisation index (brain weight÷body weight). Correlation between brain and body weight-anything below the line on the graph has a relatively small brain for its size and vice versa


What did Anaxagoras say?

Universe and everything in it is made up of a mix of substances. All animals therefore are equally intelligent, but their ability to demonstrate this differs


What did MacPhail say, similar to Anaxagoras?

All animals are equally intelligent and have equal abilities but other factors affect how they demonstrate this eg motivation and perception, which would have to be controlled to show intelligence differences. Appearance, evolution, brain size etc are just correlations that do not measure intelligence


What is the definition of learning that is hard to apply to animals?

Acquisition of knowledge


What is a definition of learning that can apply to animals?

Relatively permanent change in behaviour that results from experience


What are the problems with speed of learning as a measure of animal intelligence?

Unexpected between-species differences, difficult to equate perceptual and motivational demands in a test, within-species differences in speed of learning, and looking at the speed of learning means other things may be ignored


Why is unexpected between-species differences a problem for the speed of learning measure of animal intelligence?

Rats and humans made same amount of errors when learning a route through a maze (Skard). Bees took less times to consistently respond to stimuli for food, than fish who took less times than human infants (Angermeier)


Why is the fact that it is difficult to equate perceptual and motivational demands in a test a problem for the speed of learning measure of animal intelligence?

Food may be more motivating to a bee than a baby or fish may detect the apparatus in their environment quicker than a rat etc (Bitterman). Solution is systematic variation of motivational/perceptual demands for each species/environment though this is not practical


Why is within-species differences in speed of learning a problem for the speed of learning measure of animal intelligence?

Rats given saline either got ill then did not drink much or got a shock then still drank a lot, but this was reversed if the saline was given with lights and tones (Garcia and Koelling)


Why is the fact that looking at the speed of learning means other things may be ignored a problem for the speed of learning measure of animal intelligence?

Ignores intelligence as information processing: memory, learning, reasoning, navigation, communication


What is memory?

When current behaviour is under influence of past learning (experience). Reject the mentalistic view as cannot see memory in animals. Need to see change in behaviour as a result of experiences


What was Vander Wall's study?

Clark's nutcrackers ability to find hidden food that they store for winter


What was Vaughan and Greene's study?

Capacity of pigeons. They could remember 320 pictures and what half to respond to or to ignore


What is time (periodic) in relation to memory?

Ability to respond at a specific time within the day. Circadian clock eg mice show consistent periodic timing despite controlled/stable levels of light and temperature


What is time (interval) in relation to memory?

Duration of events. Church and Deluty, different lever whether tone is played for 4 or 16 seconds. Church and Gibbon, rats could remember intervals where they had to press lever after lights were off for 4 seconds


What are examples of number memory and animals?

Hans (horse)/Van Osten/Pfungst. Meck and Church rats different lever depending on number of tones. Brannon and Terrace, rhesus monkeys touch screen dots in numerical order. Rugoni, Regotin and Vallortigara chicks selected correct feeding well in line of wells. Pepperberg and Alex the parrot (subatising)


How is categorical memory demonstrated in animals?

Heinstein, Loveland and Cable where pigeons could distinguish trees, water and specific people. Also Cerella where pigeons distinguished between silhouettes of oak and non-oak leaves almost perfectly