Dolphin Cognition and Behavior: A Comparative Approach

By Ronald J. Schusterman; Jeanette A. Thomas et al. | Go to book overview

distinct from goal state C. If the problem solver is placed in state A, will it respond with R1 or R1′, depending upon its goals at the time? If so, the problem solver has displayed a rudimentary bit of goal directed thinking.

Animal observations can be used to illustrate the principle. Schusterman and Krieger ( 1984) report that a sea lion correctly responded to the command "touch with tail" when the object to be touched was out of the tank. The animal had previously been trained to "touch with tail" objects that were in the water. Since the action of tail-touching involves different muscle groups on land and in the water, the sea lion's response can be offered as an example of goal-directed thinking rather than an example of "mechanical" responding to stimuli.

Finally, but most importantly, thinking substitutes reactions to a computed internal environment for the possibly dangerous task of poking about in the real world. This means that the thinker must be able to uncouple itself from sensory stimulation while it examines its internal world. How much uncoupling is possible, and how much advisable? This question leads into the study of attention. To what extent can the being attend to its internal computations, regardless of the state of the external world? There are many examples of selective attention in studies of human intelligence. For example, people are slower to react to a probe signal when they are busy memorizing information ( Lansman & Hunt, 1982). Obviously the ability to shut out the world can be overdone. Daydreaming undoubtedly contributes to automobile accidents. The basic point remains. Humans, by definition the most intelligent species, split their attention between the internal and external world. Otherwise internal thought processes would be driven by the flux of events in the external world. In fact, people who lack this ability. . .notably hyperactive children. . .are poor problem solvers. To what extent do animals show an ability to uncouple themselves from their perceptual world? Can the decoupling be related in any systematic way to their problem solving performance? A variety of experimental paradigms have been developed to study the control of attention in humans. Most involve studies of how attention to one stimulus diverts attention from others. Many of the paradigms could be adopted for the study of animals.


CONCLUDING COMMENTS

Philosophically, most scientists would argue that there is continuity between human and animal thought. What has been proposed here is that continuity be treated as a practical reality rather than a philosophic position. Many of the same paradigms and theoretical models used to explain human thought can be applied to the study of animal cognition. Why not do so? If there are laws of cognition itself these laws apply to all species.

There are two objections to a cognitive science approach to intelligence. The behaviorist position is that there are only a few laws governing behavior, that

-201-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Dolphin Cognition and Behavior: A Comparative Approach
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 394

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.