This new edition has been expanded to take account of the many exciting developments that have occurred over the last ten years. The book opens with a historical survey of the methods that have been used to study animal intelligence, and follows by summarizing the contribution made by learning processes to intelligent behavior. Topics include Pavlovian and instrumental conditioning, discrimination learning, and categorization. The remainder of the book focuses on animal cognition and covers such topics as memory, navigation, social learning, language and communication, and knowledge representation.
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For years, comparative psychologists and ethologists have been suggesting that more animal species should be considered in comparative cognitive science. The abundance and accessibility of livestock offer an opportunity, not merely to extend the comparative approach, but also to deepen our knowledge of the mental lives of farm animals. Such approaches also help to assess the needs of farm animals, in order to improve their welfare. In recent years, scientific interest in different aspects of farm animal psychology, including emotionality, personality and cognitive capacities, has been on the rise, proving that farm animals have sophisticated cognitive skills to comprehend and cope with their environment.
As knowledge of how farm animals perceive and interact with their physical and social environments is crucial for animal welfare, the aim of this Research Topic is to promote investigations of farm animal cognitive capacities and their implications for animal welfare-related issues. We have therefore collected original research and review articles, as well as opinion and perspective papers that are distributed among the two hosting magazines, Frontiers in Veterinary Science section Animal Behavior and Welfare and Frontiers in Psychology section Comparative Psychology.
The published articles present state-of-the-art research on farm animal learning and cognition, highlight future perspectives in this research area and pinpoint shortcomings and limitations in interpreting current findings. They offer new cross-disciplinary frameworks e. These contributions will increase our understanding of the cognitive mechanisms that enable farm animals to effectively interact with their environment and pave the way for future cross-disciplinary endeavors.
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