Animal Cognition: Proceedings of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Conference, June 2-4, 1982

By H. S. Terrace; H. L. Roitblat et al. | Go to book overview
Perhaps there is a shift in how problem situations are perceived as a reflection of the changes in the primate brain. Perhaps the associative learners address situations by responding which is shaped rather specifically by contingencies. By comparison, mediational learners might perceive the same situations as problem-solving tasks or as perceptual challenges. With this presumed shift, elements of a problem are no longer just specific stimuli to which to respond. Rather, those elements and their relationships become informational units which can provide the basis for assessing probability of gain and loss for various options of responding available to the subject.The one primary point of this paper is, then, that with evolution of the primate brain cognition somehow emerges from and supplants the more basic, primitive associative processes of learning.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Preparation of this paper and a portion of the research reported was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Development (HD-06016) and from the Division of Research Resources (RR-00165), National Institutes of Health.
REFERENCES
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Harlow H. F. "The formation of learning sets". Psychological Review, 1949, 56, 51-65.
Kendler H. H., & Kendler T. S. "Vertical and horizontal processes in problem solving". Psychological Review, 1962, 69, 1-16.
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Kohler W. The mentality of apes. New York: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1925.
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Rescorla R. A., & Holland P. C. "Behavioral studies of associative learning in animals". Annual Review of Psychology, 1982, 33, 265-308.

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