Isidore Gormezano University of Iowa
This volume presents the views and findings of behaviorally and biologically oriented investigators invited to participate in the University of Iowa's biennial learning and memory symposium. In recent years, a number of edited volumes have appeared in learning and memory. However, we believe that few of them involve as balanced a set of behavioral and biological contributions as presently achieved. Whereas the present chapters vary in their scope and depth of coverage, they are all amply referenced so that the researcher, teacher, and student can obtain the background information appropriate to their respective needs. It should also be noted that editors of multiauthored volumes sometimes face the unpleasant choice of waiting or not waiting for the very last contributors to proceed with publication. As a consequence, several topics originally planned for inclusion in this volume are absent. In any event for purposes of discussion, the content of the present contributions can be categorized in three groups, as detailed next.
Chapters 1 to 3 reveal the scientific maturing of ecological, ethiological and comparative perspectives in the study of learning and memory, whereas Chapters 4 and 5, employing the more traditional paradigms of matching-to-sample and partial reinforcement, respectively, provide an expanded view of basic learning and memory processes. Collectively, Chapters 1 to 5 provide sets of learning and memory data that offer interesting challenges to their biological analysis. At present, the principle impediment to meeting this challenge lies in the need to develop the appropriate reductionistic methodologies. Hopefully, these chapters will stimulate the biologically oriented readers to such an undertaking.
Roberts (Chapter 1) illustrates the maturing analysis of foraging from an anthropomorphic perspective, to biological models appealing to evolutionary