What is it?
The study of differences and similarities in the way that different species process information.
Why? Lets us see what is common accross organisms
Delayed matching to sample.
Forgetting functions (longer delay more you forget)
Working (elements that change over trails) vs. Reference (long term never changing rulees)memory.
Effects of stimulus exposure- longer exposed longer they remember.
Retroactive interference- learning of another stimulus gets in the way
Radial arm maze
Some arms always baited- tests working and reference memory.
Working- where it has been and where it has to go
Reference-remember which have the reinforcers
Ectasy- more reference memory in rats
scolopaline- more working.
Learning rules or general memory process?
New stimuli each time so must be memory process.
Trials unique procedure- animals have learnt a general rule here. Have learnt to categorize. Transfers learning to a new situation
If animal can distinguish between different categories then it can also form concepts.
Alex the parrot- ability to distinguish novel stimuli based on shape colour and matter. formation of a concept which is the knowledge of categories.
Pigeons and pictures of trees- able to distinguish between the number of trees and parts etc. All pictures were different and they could do it with paintings and other things too.
Gorillas and monkeys also able to.
Object permanance- able to know that it exists when its not there. Orangatangs could, monkeys couldnt.
Chimps and two containers- trainers ate the fruit and the chimps knew not to go to that container.
Transitive inferential reasoning
understand order when only given segments. Eg. harry has more than polly who has more than sue.
Chips and food containers in colour order. Learnt the pairings and were able to do a new pairing they hadnt seen before.
Monkeys, pigeons rats
a is to b as c is to d. relationship between a sample pair and apply to a new pair. dog to puppy, cat to?
Sarah the chimp could do this with pictures- lock and key etc
Language vs communication
Language- only humans. Communication- all animals.
Animal communication reflexive?
Yes. Vervet monkeys and alarm calls. Make them in specific situations and different calls.
Yes. The chickadees! Used grammatical rules in their calls. A B C and D, always sung in the same order
Animals vs. humans
still dont seem to use language for conversation just signalling
Have taught chimps sign language washoe and taught vicki 3 words.
nim chimpsky- learnt signs and could make sentences
language with tokens- meant words.
alex the parrot knew over 40 words
Elements of language
Symbolic- symbols (animals can do)
Semantic- meaning associated with it (animals can do)
Generative- spontaneous new communication that comes from learning- Animals might be able to do? Dont know.
Structured- follows certain rules- less convincing evidence of this
relies heavily on immitation and is limited
Evidence of spontaneous grammar through pictures!
Was spontaneous, rarely made sentences that didnt make sense (grammar)