Solving foraging problems: top-down and bottom-up perspectives on the role of cognition

Griffin, Andrea S., and Guez, David (2017) Solving foraging problems: top-down and bottom-up perspectives on the role of cognition. In: ten Cate, Carel, and Healy, Susan D., (eds.) Avian Cognition. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 93-118.

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Abstract

[Extract] A noisy miner, Manorina melanocephala, a widespread native honeyeater of the East coast of Australia, lands on a coffee table and with a seemingly surprising degree of know-how opens a paper sugar packet and begins feeding on the sugar. A Galapagos mockingbird, Nesomimus parvulus, pecks food from a sea lion's mouth. A herring gull (Larus argentatus) catches a small rabbit and drops it on a rock, killing it in the process. A Hamadryas baboon (Papio hamadryas) lowers its body, tail first, into a mound, soaks up the water with its tail and then sucks it from the tuft. All these behaviours share the common property that they were deemed to be, by those authors responsible for their descriptions, novel/rare/never seen before in that species. The occurrence of actions that deviate from species-typical behavioural repertoires raises a series of fascinating questions. What are the origins of such novel behavioural patterns? Were these apparently extraordinary behaviours invented by those expressing them or were they inspired from watching the behaviour of others? What are the individual characteristics of those that invent novel behaviours? Are they particularly clever or do they display some other inherent, repeatable, property that makes them intrinsically more likely to perform novel actions? Are there environmental conditions that make individuals more likely to express novel behaviours? Do species differ in their propensity to display novel behaviours and if so, why? These are questions scientists have been tackling for nearly two decades.

Item ID: 50193
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-316-13597-6
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Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2017 03:50
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1702 Cognitive Science > 170299 Cognitive Science not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 50%
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