- Investigation of object-based attention in pigeons (Columba livia) and hill mynas (Gracula religiosa) using a spatial cueing task. [Journal Article]
- JCJ Comp Psychol 2019 Jul 18
- In previous research, pigeons and hill mynas that performed differently on an object permanence task were presumed to attend to objects in different ways (Plowright, Reid, & Kilian, 1998). In the cur…
In previous research, pigeons and hill mynas that performed differently on an object permanence task were presumed to attend to objects in different ways (Plowright, Reid, & Kilian, 1998). In the current study, we conducted 4 experiments to investigate if the attention of hill mynas and pigeons is object-based and if there are species differences in their visual-attentional processes. In Experiment 1, pigeons were tested in a spatial cueing task requiring them to respond sequentially to a cue and a target that appeared at 1 of the 4 ends of two rectangles. Both when the response to a fixation stimulus was required before target presentation (Experiment 1A) and when such a response was not required (Experiment 1B), there were no significant differences in reaction times to the targets appearing at cued and noncued rectangles; these results provided no evidence of object-based attention in pigeons. In Experiment 2, for 2 of the 3 hill mynas tested in a procedure similar to that for the pigeons in Experiment 1B, reaction times were shorter to the target appearing on the cued rectangle than to the target appearing on noncued rectangle, suggesting the operation of object-based attention, as in humans. In Experiment 3, we tested naive pigeons by means of the procedure used for hill mynas in Experiment 2. However, again pigeons showed no evidence of object-based attention, suggesting a species difference in attentional processes. The generality of the current results and evolution of the possible species differences were discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
- Feeding Enrichment in a Captive Pack of European Wolves (Canis Lupus Lupus): Assessing the Effects on Welfare and on a Zoo's Recreational, Educational and Conservational Role. [Journal Article]
- AAnimals (Basel) 2019 Jun 08; 9(6)
- This study investigated the effects of two feeding enrichment programs on the behaviour of a captive pack of European wolves (Canis lupus lupus) and their correlation with both zoo visitors' interest…
This study investigated the effects of two feeding enrichment programs on the behaviour of a captive pack of European wolves (Canis lupus lupus) and their correlation with both zoo visitors' interest towards the exhibit and their overall perception of the species. Behavioural data (exploration, stereotypies, social interactions, activity/inactivity rates) were collected on four male wolves during four two-week long phases: initial control, hidden food, novel object, final control. Three observation sessions were performed daily: before, during and after feeding. Number of visitors and their permanence in front of the exhibit were recorded. After watching the wolves, visitors were asked to fill out a brief questionnaire in order to investigate their perception of captive wolf welfare, as well as their attitude towards wolf conservation issues. Despite the high inter-individual variability in their behavioural response, all wolves seemed to benefit from feeding enrichment. With regard to visitors, interest in the exhibit increased when enrichment was provided. Visitors' perception of the level of welfare of wolves improved if they attended a feeding session, especially during the novel object phase. Visitors' attitude towards wolf conservation issues also improved during feeding sessions, regardless of enrichment provision.
- Neuroimaging Findings on Amodal Completion: A Review. [Journal Article]
- IIperception 2019 Mar-Apr; 10(2):2041669519840047
- Amodal completion is the phenomenon of perceiving completed objects even though physically they are partially occluded. In this review, we provide an extensive overview of the results obtained from a…
Amodal completion is the phenomenon of perceiving completed objects even though physically they are partially occluded. In this review, we provide an extensive overview of the results obtained from a variety of neuroimaging studies on the neural correlates of amodal completion. We discuss whether low-level and high-level cortical areas are implicated in amodal completion; provide an overview of how amodal completion unfolds over time while dissociating feedforward, recurrent, and feedback processes; and discuss how amodal completion is represented at the neuronal level. The involvement of low-level visual areas such as V1 and V2 is not yet clear, while several high-level structures such as the lateral occipital complex and fusiform face area seem invariant to occlusion of objects and faces, respectively, and several motor areas seem to code for object permanence. The variety of results on the timing of amodal completion hints to a mixture of feedforward, recurrent, and feedback processes. We discuss whether the invisible parts of the occluded object are represented as if they were visible, contrary to a high-level representation. While plenty of questions on amodal completion remain, this review presents an overview of the neuroimaging findings reported to date, summarizes several insights from computational models, and connects research of other perceptual completion processes such as modal completion. In all, it is suggested that amodal completion is the solution to deal with various types of incomplete retinal information, and highly depends on stimulus complexity and saliency, and therefore also give rise to a variety of observed neural patterns.
- Independent and combined effects of improved water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and improved complementary feeding on early neurodevelopment among children born to HIV-negative mothers in rural Zimbabwe: Substudy of a cluster-randomized trial. [Journal Article]
- PMPLoS Med 2019; 16(3):e1002766
- CONCLUSIONS: We found little evidence that the IYCF and WASH interventions implemented in SHINE caused clinically important improvements in child development at 2 years of age. Interventions that directly target neurodevelopment (e.g., early stimulation) or that more comprehensively address the multifactorial nature of neurodevelopment may be required to support healthy development of vulnerable children.
- Search Behavior in Goat (Capra hircus) Kids From Mothers Kept at Different Animal Densities Throughout Pregnancy. [Journal Article]
- FVFront Vet Sci 2019; 6:21
- Individual differences in cognitive performance are often reported but factors related to variation within species are rarely addressed. Goats (Capra hircus) have been subjects of many cognitive stud…
Individual differences in cognitive performance are often reported but factors related to variation within species are rarely addressed. Goats (Capra hircus) have been subjects of many cognitive studies recently but without focus on individual variation. Among others, factors such as prenatal stress and sex of the individual have been proposed as possible explanations for individual variation in cognitive skills. We aimed to study whether prenatal environment, prenatal stress, litter size, sex, and birth weight influences search behavior skills of goat kids. Pregnant Norwegian dairy goats were exposed to different spatial allowance (namely 1.0, 2.0, or 3.0 m2 per animal) within the commercially applied range during pregnancy and their serum cortisol levels were measured six times within this period. Twenty-six of the kids born entered a three-stage searching task with increasing difficulty when they were 6 weeks old. The tasks included finding a bucket of milk: while moving (stage 1), after moving and disappearing behind a curtain (stage 2), and moving behind a displacement device and the device moving behind a curtain while hiding the bucket (stage 3). We found that prenatal animal density had no effect on the search skills of the offspring, while kids with higher prenatal maternal cortisol levels performed better at the highest stage tested: finding an object after single invisible displacement. At this stage, singleton kids and males performed better than twins and females. Birth weight had no effect at this stage. The findings suggest that maternal cortisol in the observed range had a facilitating effect on cognitive development of goat kids.
- Farm Animal Cognition-Linking Behavior, Welfare and Ethics. [Review]
- FVFront Vet Sci 2019; 6:24
- Farm animal welfare is a major concern for society and food production. To more accurately evaluate animal farming in general and to avoid exposing farm animals to poor welfare situations, it is nece…
Farm animal welfare is a major concern for society and food production. To more accurately evaluate animal farming in general and to avoid exposing farm animals to poor welfare situations, it is necessary to understand not only their behavioral but also their cognitive needs and capacities. Thus, general knowledge of how farm animals perceive and interact with their environment is of major importance for a range of stakeholders, from citizens to politicians to cognitive ethologists to philosophers. This review aims to outline the current state of farm animal cognition research and focuses on ungulate livestock species, such as cattle, horses, pigs and small ruminants, and reflects upon a defined set of cognitive capacities (physical cognition: categorization, numerical ability, object permanence, reasoning, tool use; social cognition: individual discrimination and recognition, communication with humans, social learning, attribution of attention, prosociality, fairness). We identify a lack of information on certain aspects of physico-cognitive capacities in most farm animal species, such as numerosity discrimination and object permanence. This leads to further questions on how livestock comprehend their physical environment and understand causal relationships. Increasing our knowledge in this area will facilitate efforts to adjust husbandry systems and enrichment items to meet the needs and preferences of farm animals. Research in the socio-cognitive domain indicates that ungulate livestock possess sophisticated mental capacities, such as the discrimination between, and recognition of, conspecifics as well as human handlers using multiple modalities. Livestock also react to very subtle behavioral cues of conspecifics and humans. These socio-cognitive capacities can impact human-animal interactions during management practices and introduce ethical considerations on how to treat livestock in general. We emphasize the importance of gaining a better understanding of how livestock species interact with their physical and social environments, as this information can improve housing and management conditions and can be used to evaluate the use and treatment of animals during production.
- Using automated controlled rearing to explore the origins of object permanence. [Journal Article]
- DSDev Sci 2019; 22(3):e12796
- What are the origins of object permanence? Despite widespread interest in this question, methodological barriers have prevented detailed analysis of how experience shapes the development of object pe…
What are the origins of object permanence? Despite widespread interest in this question, methodological barriers have prevented detailed analysis of how experience shapes the development of object permanence in newborn organisms. Here, we introduce an automated controlled-rearing method for studying the emergence of object permanence in strictly controlled virtual environments. We used newborn chicks as an animal model and recorded their behavior continuously (24/7) from the onset of vision. Across four experiments, we found that object permanence can develop rapidly, within the first few days of life. This ability developed even when chicks were reared in impoverished visual environments containing no object occlusion events. Object permanence failed to develop, however, when chicks were reared in environments containing temporally non-smooth objects (objects moving on discontinuous spatiotemporal paths). These results suggest that experience with temporally smooth objects facilitates the development of object permanence, confirming a key prediction of temporal learning models in computational neuroscience.
- A Detour Task in Four Species of Fishes. [Journal Article]
- FPFront Psychol 2018; 9:2341
- Four species of fish (Danio rerio, Xenotoca eiseni, Carassius auratus, and Pterophyllum scalare) were tested in a detour task requiring them to temporarily abandon the view of the goal-object (a grou…
Four species of fish (Danio rerio, Xenotoca eiseni, Carassius auratus, and Pterophyllum scalare) were tested in a detour task requiring them to temporarily abandon the view of the goal-object (a group of conspecifics) to circumvent an obstacle. Fishes were placed in the middle of a corridor, at the end of which there was an opaque wall with a small window through which the goal was visible. Midline along the corridor two symmetrical apertures allowed animals to access two compartments for each aperture. After passing the aperture, fishes showed searching behavior in the two correct compartments close to the goal, appearing able to localize it, although they had to temporarily move away from the object's view. Here we provide the first evidence that fishes can solve such a detour task and therefore seem able to represent the "permanence in existence" of objects, which continue to exist even if they are not momentarily visible.
- Object permanence in the pigeon (Columba livia): Insertion of a delay prior to choice facilitates visible- and invisible-displacement accuracy. [Journal Article]
- JCJ Comp Psychol 2019; 133(1):132-139
- Object permanence, often viewed as a measure of human cognitive development, has also been used to assess animals' cognitive abilities. Tests of object permanence have distinguished between visible d…
Object permanence, often viewed as a measure of human cognitive development, has also been used to assess animals' cognitive abilities. Tests of object permanence have distinguished between visible displacement, in which an object may be placed into one of two (or more) containers to be retrieved, and invisible displacement, in which after the object is placed into the container, the container is moved before retrieval is attempted. We tested pigeons' accuracy on both visible and invisible displacement using a rotational beam with a container at either end. In Experiment 1, the pigeons showed some evidence of object permanence on an initial visible displacement test, but they did not maintain accurate choice. With training, their accuracy improved but only to about 70% correct. When tested on a 90° invisible displacement (rotation), accuracy transferred but once again dropped with further training. In Experiment 2, a 5-s delay was inserted between container baiting and choice. Once again, the pigeons showed some evidence of object permanence on an initial visible displacement test, although on the first test session, choice accuracy was not much better than in Experiment 1. With training, choice accuracy improved greatly. Furthermore, pigeons showed good transfer when they were tested on the 90° invisible displacement. Finally, and importantly, they also transferred well to a 180° invisible displacement, a displacement on which dogs failed. The results of these experiments suggest that under the right conditions, pigeons can show a moderate degree of object permanence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
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- Object permanence in Giraffa camelopardalis: First steps in giraffes' physical cognition. [Journal Article]
- JCJ Comp Psychol 2019; 133(2):207-214
- Although behavior, biology, and ecology of giraffes have been widely studied, little is known about their cognition. Giraffes' feeding ecology and their fission-fusion social dynamics are comparable …
Although behavior, biology, and ecology of giraffes have been widely studied, little is known about their cognition. Giraffes' feeding ecology and their fission-fusion social dynamics are comparable with those of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), suggesting that they might have complex cognitive abilities. To assess this, we tested 6 captive giraffes on their object permanence, short-term memory, and ability to use acoustic cues to locate food. First, we tested whether giraffes understand that objects continue to exist even when they are out of sight. Giraffes saw one of two opaque containers containing food, then containers were closed, and 2 s later giraffes could choose one. Second, we measured giraffes' memory repeating the procedure but with a delay of 30 s, 60 s, or 2 min between closing the containers and subjects' choice. Finally, we investigated whether giraffes could locate food inside one of two identical opaque containers, when the only cue provided was the sound made by food when shaking the baited container, or the lack of sound when shaking the empty container. Our results show that giraffes form mental representations of completely hidden objects, but may not store them for longer than 30 s. Moreover, they rely on stimulus enhancement rather than acoustic cues to locate food, when no visual cues are provided. Finally, we argue that giraffes and other ungulates might be a suitable model to investigate the evolution of complex cognitive abilities from a comparative perspective. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).