Cognitive Ethology: The Minds of Other Animals: Essays in Honor of Donald R. Griffin

By Donald R. Griffin; Carolyn A. Ristau | Go to book overview
new insights into the mechanisms underlying the detection of cryptic prey ( Getty, Kamil, & Real, 1987);
2. The mechanisms responsible for the recovery of cached food by parids ( Shettleworth & Krebs, 1982) and Clark's nutcrackers ( Kamil & Balda, 1985) have been studied by biologists and psychologists working collaboratively, and this research is increasing our understanding both of spatial memory and of the ecology of scatterhoarding ( Balda, Bunch, Kamil, Sherry, & Tomback, 1987).

In view of these and other developments, a comprehensive integration of psychological information processing approaches with those of ethology and behavioral ecology is at hand. Explicit detailed knowledge of the history of the advances made and problems encountered by each approach will expedite this integration. The history of the psychological study of animal cognition contains much that is useful to the modern ethologist interested in cognition. A study of this history can lead to the avoidance of errors committed and the acceptance of valuable procedures and concepts ( Kamil, 1983).

The core of the matter is as follows: Cognitive organization and processing has an evolutionary history and, it is reasonable to assume, serve adaptive functions. Because behavior is determined by the interaction of environmental (ecological) and cognitive events, an interdisciplinary approach to the study of behavior is demanded, whether the behavior of interest is the result of processing that is simple or complex, conscious or unconscious. This interdisciplinary approach will follow logically from the broad definition of cognitive ethology that we suggest.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Preparation of this chapter was supported by NSF grant BNS-8418721.


REFERENCES

Anderson J. R. ( 1983). The architecture of cognition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Balda R. P., Bunch K. G., Kamil A. C., Sherry D. W., & Tomback D. F. ( 1987). "Cache site memory in birds". In A. C. Kamil, J. R. Krebs, & H. R. Pulliam (Eds.), Foraging behavior (pp. 645-666). New York: Plenum.

Broadbent D. E. ( 1958). Perception and communication. London: Pergamon Press.

Fodor J. A. ( 1983). The Modularity of Mind. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T/Bradford Press.

Gardner H. ( 1985). The mind's new science: A history of the cognitive revolution. New York: Basic Books.

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