About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

University at Buffalo Works To Researches On How Smart Animals Can Be

by Tanya Thomas on September 16, 2009 at 11:29 AM
Font : A-A+

 University at Buffalo Works To Researches On How Smart Animals Can Be

After conducting extensive research into animal cognition, psychologists at the University at Buffalo have confirmed that certain animals do indeed share the human ability to reflect upon, monitor or regulate their states of mind.

"Comparative psychologists have studied the question of whether or not non-human animals have knowledge of their own cognitive states by testing a dolphin, pigeons, rats, monkeys and apes using perception, memory and food-concealment paradigms," said Dr. J. David Smith, a comparative psychologist at the university.

Advertisement

"The field offers growing evidence that some animals have functional parallels to humans' consciousness and to humans' cognitive self-awareness," he added.

He counts dolphins and macaque monkeys among such species.

Recounting the original animal-metacognition experiment with Natua the dolphin, Smith said: "When uncertain, the dolphin clearly hesitated and wavered between his two possible responses, but when certain, he swam toward his chosen response so fast that his bow wave would soak the researchers' electronic switches."
Advertisement

He added: "In sharp contrast, pigeons in several studies have so far not expressed any capacity for metacognition. In addition, several converging studies now show that capuchin monkeys barely express a capacity for metacognition. This last result," Smith says, "raises important questions about the emergence of reflective or extended mind in the primate order. This research area opens a new window on reflective mind in animals, illuminating its phylogenetic emergence and allowing researchers to trace the antecedents of human consciousness."

Smith describes metacognition as a sophisticated human capacity linked to hierarchical structure in the mind because the metacognitive executive control processes oversee lower-level cognition, to self-awareness because uncertainty and doubt feel so personal and subjective, and to declarative consciousness because humans are conscious of their states of knowing and can declare them to others.

Therefore, Smith says: "It is a crucial goal of comparative psychology to establish firmly whether animals share humans' metacognitive capacity. If they do, it could bear on their consciousness and self-awareness, too."

He concludes, "Metacognition rivals language and tool use in its potential to establish important continuities or discontinuities between human and animal minds."

A research article describing his study has been published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Science.

Source: ANI
TAN
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Top 9 Reasons Why We Should Practice Kindness
Top 10 Vitamin B12 Foods for Vegetarians - Slideshow
Targeted Screening Program Beneficial for Prostate Cancer Screening
View all
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Most Popular on Medindia

Daily Calorie Requirements Loram (2 mg) (Lorazepam) How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Find a Doctor The Essence of Yoga Diaphragmatic Hernia Blood Pressure Calculator Iron Intake Calculator Drug - Food Interactions Indian Medical Journals

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use