Talk:Animal cognition

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Wikipedia Project[edit]

To whom ever is reading this. Hi my name is Zac Rogers and in the next few weeks Im going to do my best in editing and adding some things to this article. I am taking part in a History & Systems of Psychology Class at Shenandoah University. and we are doing a Wikipedia project. I will be using some information from articles like this one, [1] or this one, [2] to do some of my research. Let me know what you guys think and if you have any comments or thoughts for me please don't be afraid to say them. Also any advice or help you can give me would also be very appreciated! GLKeepr1 (talk) 17:28, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Hey Zac, I enjoyed peer reviewing your work. I found that a lot of what you wrote was from good research and it definitely shows that you took a lot of time into this project. I liked reading about your contributions in tools and weaponry. Your information was good and didn't make too many grammatical errors. I love animals and it shows that you had an interest in this subject area as well. Overall you did a great job! ~~IZRozin22~~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by IZRozin22 (talkcontribs) 17:43, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Cognitive development[edit]

Hey guys, do you think it would be beneficial to the page if in the "cognitive revolution" section we or I add something about piaget's theory of cognitive development? --GLKeepr1 (talk) 21:29, 7 February 2013 (UTC)


For the time being, I've removed the following passage:

"Robert Yerkes proved in The Mental Life of Monkeys and Apes (1916) that monkeys and apes are capable of transfer their learning to new tasks (Sebeok, 1990)."

It is not clear what the point of including this is. Transfer of training is a very general phenomenon - any animal that can learn anything at all will transfer some kind of learning to some kind of new task. Offhand, I can't think of anything that Yerkes showed about transfer in his 1916 book that is still of distinctive significance now. If you want to put this back, please discuss it here first and explain why it matters - it may be a perfectly valid point that just needs some rephrasing. seglea 01:33, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)

What's wrong with covering the history of the study of animal cognition? Hyacinth 18:22, 8 October 2006 (UTC)


The article seems to have a bit of venom towards behavorists. Also, it only lists two sources. PragmaticallyWyrd 14:14, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Relative intelligence[edit]

To get over the 'original research' label on the 'Relative Intelligence' section a citation to Shettleworth's Cognition, Evolution and Behaviour' on the bit about different niches might be helpful. dbrodbeck

Who are these 'many' that don't like the scientific approach? What journals do they publish in? If someone can find a citation fine, but if not, I would like to remove that section. Dbrodbeck 19:39, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

This whole "widely believed to be the smartest bird or ape or whaterver" bit is getting out of control. First of all it is full of weasel words. Secondly, the study of animal cognition is not about ranking species. Read the book I mention above, or pick up a copy of JEP:Animal and find me somewhere where this is mentioned. Dbrodbeck 11:26, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

The article asserts that "comparative psychologists have sought in vain for ways of providing an objective underpinning for these essentially subjective and anthropocentric judgements" and "part of the difficulty is the lack of agreement about what we mean by intelligence even in humans (it obviously makes a big difference whether language is considered as essential for intelligence, for example). As a result, most scientists studying animal cognition regard questions about which animals are the most intelligent as vacuous." These claims are unsupported by any references, and in any case, are probably too broad to be justified without an exhaustive set of references anyway. I don't doubt that some scientists hold this view, but the claim that there is a consensus ought to be defended or done away with.0nullbinary0 (talk) 15:10, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Please see the reference by Shettleworth, 1998. I am pretty sure the original author of this section put the reference to Shettleworth at the end of the paragraph, indicating that the whole paragraph is pretty much from that book. There pretty much is consensus then, as this is pretty much the most important book in the field. Dbrodbeck (talk) 21:07, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
That makes sense. The Shettleworth book probably is meant as the reference. Still, how does a lack of agreement about what we mean by "intelligence" comport with the alleged consensus that it essentially subjective? If there's no consensus on the meaning of the word, how can there be a consensus on it's objectivity? Surely some of those people disagreeing about what intelligence is think it is a measurable quantity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 0nullbinary0 (talkcontribs) 15:33, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Subjective may in fact not be quite the right word, though anthropocentric is for sure. The idea is that really, as different species have different cognitive challenges, then, they should be adapted to solve them. Asking say, why are dolphins unable to use language (for example) is like asking, why can't people fly when they flap their arms. Does that make any sense? I am pretty close to this stuff, and I probably am not always clear.... Dbrodbeck (talk) 00:20, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
That makes sense. Certainly, species make different adaptations. It's just that the article seems to convey a sense that if a certain measure is anthropocentric, it is illegitimate or vacuous. This doesn't necessarily follow. For example, one might list species by their blubber content. Such a measure would certainly be rather whalocentric. But that doesn't automatically make it worthless. Whales do, in fact, have more blubber than other species, and that's a notable scientific fact. Similarly, under some objective definition of intelligence, humans may be particularly bright. That's anthropocentric, but why is it vacuous? This seems like POV to me.0nullbinary0 (talk) 07:11, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
One of the big assumptions of the anthropocentric approach (the idea of ranking species) is that there is a sort of evolutionary ladder, which is of course counter to evolutionary theory (a good discussion of this is available in Campbell and Hodos, 1969, as well as Shettleworth, 1993). I will certainly say that humans are indeed the most cognitively complex organism on the planet, no argument there, but there are situations where a Clark's nutcracker kicks our butts (remembering spatial locations for long periods of time). So, does that make us smarter than them, or them smarter than us? This type of question really bogs down the study of animal cognition (which, I might add, is what the cool kids take in school....) I hope this helps some. Dbrodbeck (talk) 14:52, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Whether humans are more intelligent than a Clark's nutcracker depends on what the definition of 'intelligence' is. But if the fact that we can define that word lots of different ways with different results makes whatever particular definition we pick illegitimate, the reason escapes me. Why not define 'intelligence' as 'cognitive complexity?' Then humans are the most intelligent species on the planet. Why is the observation that humans are the most cognitively complex organism okay, but the observation that we are most intelligent, under some definition of that word, illegitimate? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 0nullbinary0 (talkcontribs) 21:49, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
And how shall was define it for other species? This question really is not that important any more in the world of animal cognition research, seriously, take a look at Shettleworth (1998) Dbrodbeck (talk) 23:41, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
To expand on this, the idea of a ranking is not useful. We (humans) evolved filling our niche, Clark's nutcrackers fill theirs, and honey bees fill theirs. Both of those species fly better than we do (discounting airplanes....). Is that a useful comparison, flying ability? Not really I think. Dbrodbeck (talk) 02:52, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
That birds and bees can fly and humans can't isn't a scientifically noteworthy fact? That birds can fly is awfully useful if you want to know, say, how they migrate, or what ecological niche they fill. The point isn't to establish some kind of ladder, or hierarchy of worthiness (which I would agree is unscientific), but to tabulate the characteristics of different species and learn more about them. One thing we know about honey bees is that they fly. I am astonished to hear that this isn't a useful observation about them, or that our intelligence isn't a useful observation about humans.0nullbinary0 (talk) 22:26, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
I did not do a very good job explaining myself I guess. Intelligence is a multimodal thing. There are certain modules that we have, for example, that other species don't have. Now, why species A has some module and species B has another is interesting for sure! However, the idea that one is better somehow is not useful. If you don't need it, it does not matter. That sort of thing. Does that help at all?Dbrodbeck (talk) 00:26, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Some Studies might be nice | Also comment on owls[edit]

It'd be interesting to see some studies. I concede that the research is too poorly conducted to say anything with authority. And though it mentions controversy over the relative intelligence of dogs and cats, at least it doesn't argue that either of them are "the smartest animals" (despite s few weasel words implying it.
From what I've heard from people who work with these various animals, (and from newspaper articles, which I tend not to trust on matters of science) the ranking seems more or less accurate. But the categories are so broad that it's difficult. Domestic dogs aren't as smart as wolves (selection for infantilism), and Neophemas cannot approach the African greys. Then there are individual species which rise above the pack. Every falconer I've met(all three) insists that Harris hawks are far smarter than other raptors, and human intelligence certainly exceeds that of Oranguatangs (though considering the state of the planet, some may dispute this). Since this is original research, and hearsay to boot, please don't add this to the article, these are just observations for what might be improved.
The one thing I will say for certain is that most of an owl's head is taken up by the eyes. And back to hearsay mode, at least one falconer I know makes a routine of insisting on their relatively low intelligence. They're certainly not up there with parrots, unless maybe you're talking something like cockatiels (cutest parrots there are, but also the dumbest, I swear).
Damn looking at this now I want to do some experiments on animal cognition myself. Might make a good Div II Project. Any rate, this is yet another article which has improved since I last saw it, though still in need of much work. A good sign that the idiots who write what they "know" may, finally, be starting to loose on Wikipedia. Keep this pattern up and I may come back and start editing again. ~Luke -- 21:21, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Intelligence or cognitive ability if you will, is proably modular (see Galistell's Organization of Learning for a nice primer). Asking if say, a rat shows similar intellgence to a human is like asking if humans can fly by flapping their arms. There are several nice treatments of such 'rankings' including Kamil (1987) and of course Shettleworth (1998, I think).Dbrodbeck 21:40, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

This relative intelligence seciton is getting silly. Who cares what people think is the smartes species, or what the 'widespread belief' is? Dbrodbeck 00:17, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Absolutely. I have taken an axe to it. I have also started putting in some of the admittedly necessary references (I wrote most of this page at a time when Wikipedia was not bothering so much about such things, and I didn't want to clutter it). Any help would be welcome! seglea 22:04, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Now the section has returned. Let me point out why this section ought to go. This is a science right? Beliefs are not important. It is, well, that simple. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dbrodbeck (talkcontribs) 12:09, 11 October 2007 (UTC)


Funny, I study animal cognition and we NEVER bring up this stuff about 'well if they are intelligent we cannot eat them'. I'll wait to see if anyone has a reason to leave the statement in, if not I will trash it. Dbrodbeck 12:55, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Seriously? You and your colleagues "NEVER" bring that up? I find that to be unbelievable. Literally. You are lying, sir. Wigglestrue (talk) 02:48, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, seriously. I am not a liar, that was uncalled for. This is a science we are here to talk about, it is not a forum for personal attacks. Let's try to improve this page rather than play games.Dbrodbeck (talk) 11:51, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Who is "we"? Irregardless, the argument has litte to do with animal cognition and more to do with the motivations for vegetarianism. Hyacinth 18:21, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Oh sorry, I did not make that very clear now did I. Those of us that do research in animal cogntiion. I do research in the area, keep current with all of the journals etc and have never seen the issue brought up, not once. Dbrodbeck 20:08, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Dbrodbeck, you might want to do a little more reading in your field. Donald Griffin discusses this a bit in Chapter 13 of <ital>Animal Minds</ital>, in the section "Ethical Significance." So does deWaal. 20:56, 15 January 2007 (UTC) (whoops, sorry for the missing sig. Rbogle 20:58, 15 January 2007 (UTC))

the converse is true, however; animal cognition is almost ALWAYS brought up in arguments about vegetarianism, possibly because morality is as irrelevant to a study of intelligance. 23:20, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

It smells like pov, and has no citations. Anyway it is probably in the wrong place. Diletante 04:16, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Well if there are no objections over the next while I will remove it Dbrodbeck 12:14, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Im removing it, it is at worst OR, and at best doesn't belong here Diletante 00:57, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, had not had the time, been marking papers for an animal cognition class..... Dbrodbeck 12:14, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

The society agreement which is a typical ground for human moral says that we agree to protect good living conditions and fair treatment for all those who are like us, so for also the animals if they qualify by this standard.

Animal testing[edit]

A question: Has it been taken into account in the experiment arrangements that since the animals are at the mercy of humans they have to listen to subtle social cues very carefully compared to free adult humans? So their behaviour just has to be primarily social whether that is their nature or not.

Another question: From where and how to get an objective opinion about my rabbits being able to read some words? There is a film at I have now taught them the words left, right, in front, back, above and down. So it should be possible to train them to perform a labyrint guided by written words. I have already tried it once with a promising result and I will put the video to YouTube too, maybe today. My rabbits are otherwise untrained and somewhat uncooperative. They are interested in new tasks and not in repeating the same old tricks. Food rewards do not seem to work. One of my rabbits is bold and the other one too timid for labyrinth tasks.

Two points, BF Skinner taught pigeons to 'read' ages ago. 2) this is not really a forum for discussing animal cog it is a place to talk about the article. Dbrodbeck 11:43, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, but I didn't find that point about BF Skinner and reading pigeons from the Wikipedia, now even from under the header rumours about BF Skinner. And could you please include information about who and where are capable of testing animals' intelligence objectively.

There are sources beyond WIkipedia. Try an intro psychology book, oh perhaps Glietman's text. Then perhaps look at Mike Domjan's Learning textbook, then W. A. Roberts' book 'Animal Cognition' or Sara Shettleworth's 'Cognition, Evolution and Behavior'. Like I said before, this is not really the appropriate place for discussing how to design experiments. Dbrodbeck 11:55, 6 April 2007 (UTC)


I want to ask how are penguins intelligent? They are non-flying birds and can have large brain, but I can't find any information about their brain and intellectual abilities. Til. 29.03.07 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 07:33, 2 April 2007 (UTC).

penguins have extremely small brains, less than few grams. They are some of the stupidest birds.

Could you explain why penguins have so small brain? They are unflying predators and could have large brain.

Brain size does not correlate to actual intellect, foo'. (talk) 03:39, 4 June 2008 (UTC)


I don't see any mention on cognition in reptiles. Could someone cover this topic? 00:04, 9 July 2007 (UTC)


other domesticated species, like horses, cows and pigs are considered intelligent. Some other, like oxen are famed for their herd animal stupidity (brains under 1 kg, several hundred grams)

Cows are intelligent, but oxen are not? marbeh raglaim 20:21, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

This points out the whole problem with the 'subjective intelligence ranking of species' stuff on here. I do not see why it is relevant that people have a gut feeling that species X is smarter than species Y. The question itself, which may be silly, is at best a very difficult comparative question. (See Shettleworth, 1998 or Kamil, 1987) Dbrodbeck 20:28, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Is this possible in theory?[edit]

Is it possible in theory to teach a dog or any other animal to read without it taking enermous lenghts of time? See the video of a dog puppy reading at and please read the text too: it offers one possible explanation. (talk) 13:21, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Remember this is not a forum, this page is for discussing the article. I will say that there are many simpler explanations other than that dog actually reading... Look up Clever Hans.Dbrodbeck (talk) 21:09, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

References in text need links to reference section[edit]

This article needs the references in the text made into links to the References section. - Dougher (talk) 01:31, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Spatial Cognition[edit]

Hi all. I added the heading "Spatial Cognition", since it is probably one of the largest and most well-represented fields of Animal Cognition currently under investigation. I realize that some information in it has been referenced in other sections of the page, but I still feel as though it is a necessary addition (but could probably use more attention). I used Brown & Cook as a reference only because it is a well-written and expert-reviewed source that is freely available online, and so it might be a good place to send people (rather than the Library, given that many of the people that use Wikipedia are using it for the express purpose that they don't have to leave their basement in order to get information).

If you think we should scrap it, please do so. Ieshan (talk) 15:15, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Well done! I think it is a good addition. Dbrodbeck (talk) 21:25, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Hello. Below is a proposed list of references and a brief outline of what I would like to add to the spatial cognition section.


Outline: I would like to add more information regarding dogs, apes and cats. The first reference I listed is a relatively recent article that describes how apes and dogs differ in social and causal cues. The second reference is an older comparison of dogs and cats and their abilities to understand object permanence. Because cats are less studied than dogs and apes, I will describe how FIV can affect their spatial cognition abilities using the third reference.

Basically, I will compare the spatial cognition of cats, dogs and apes using the above references. In these studies, spatial cognition is studied with regard to food, objects and disease.

Additionally, I am unsure on whether or not to compare human spatial cognition to ape spatial cognition on this page. If it is a topic people would like to know more about please let me know. You can see that reference here: [6] Soggycereal4 (talk) 04:23, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

The potential problem here is WP:SYN. Those are all fine references (hell, I know half of those people....) However, we cannot do synthesis of primary sources here, we have to or should at least, use secondary sources. Dbrodbeck (talk) 10:43, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
That is definitely a potential problem, especially because I can already see your interpretation in the description of what you are going to put in the article. Did you find any review articles? Wadewitz (talk) 20:54, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
There are good reviews of spatial stuff out there. Miller and Shettleworth is good, there is a great Cheng et al one as well. The Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning is out, and it may be some use if you have access. It has entries on spatial cognition and spatial navigation (full disclosure, I wrote them). Dbrodbeck (talk) 23:51, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

New Information[edit]

National Geographic Magazine April 2008 Issue provides an interesting article with a lot of information and new evidence that has not been covered in this article yet. There's also a links section where some original sources can be researched. Someone more knowledgeable and with good English might give this a look. Jjalocha (talk) 00:14, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Should we...[edit]

Should the monitor lizard be added to the article? I think they are creatures of worthy intelligence. Elasmosaurus (talk) 05:23, 16 May 2008 (UTC)


It is completely futile to discuss the intelligence of "animals", tout court. Intelligence in the animal kingdom ranges from "clearly none" to "definitely". This article should rather be in WP:SS, discussing the intelligence of the various orders or species under examination. dab (𒁳) 17:27, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

also, "Most researchers in the field of Comparative Cognition have abandoned the notion" that some species are more intelligent than others? Wth is this, postmodernism? "some species" include squids and humans. Are "most researchers" claiming "intelligence" is so relative that a squid needs to be judged as having as much "squid-intelligence" as a human or chimp are endowed with human- or chimp-intelligence? This sounds ridiculous, and pending the citation of anything resembling a WP:RS, I suppose the claim should be removed. dab (𒁳) 17:35, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

THat is not what is being said, or it is not what is meant. Please see the Shettleworth reference. Dbrodbeck (talk) 17:54, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
well, if it wasn't meant, it's good thing I removed the statement, isn't it. I left a {{huh}} at the "laypeople" passage, so please feel free to clarify what is intended by the passage. dab (𒁳) 11:41, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Math & Numerical Cognition[edit]

I deleted the section on math and numerical cognition because it was rife with errors and overstated much of the research. For example, the types of numerosity judgments made by the monkeys in Cantlon, Brannon, and Terrace's work is clearly not counting, though it was sourced as such.

It can be restored and edited with a revert, but up till now it was simply providing misinformation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:17, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

The section included references to peer-reviewed publications which count as reliable sources. However, if the sources are being mis-used or misquoted by all means do fix them, but deletion is not appropriate; I have therefore reverted the deletion. pgr94 (talk) 11:34, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Regarding Brannon and Terrace, they specifically say: "monkeys represent the numerosities 1-9 on at least an ordinal scale". Does this differ from "repeatedly adding (or subtracting) one, usually to find out how many objects there are [..]" (from Counting)? pgr94 (talk) 11:34, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
I would call it counting, same thing with say Olthoff, Iden and ROberts, 1997. Dbrodbeck (talk) 12:00, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

I just read a bit of the article and I saw that section. I think its going in all direction and we are mixing differents things. I'm talking about the ants sections. Ants are clearly not intelligent even tough they can exibit intelligent behavior, but its not the same. The complex behavior come from emergence thats all (see wikipedia article of the same name). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:39, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Removed Continuing controversy section[edit]

The following section did not cite any sources and 3 months have elapsed since it was challenged.

The results and philosophy of research into animal cognition continue to be controversial on a number of grounds:

  • Particular issues within animal cognition, particularly the interpretation of language-learning and self-awareness experiments, have generated major controversies both about the extent of the animals' achievements, and about the correct interpretation of the behavior observed.
  • Cognitive scientists have been interested in comparing and contrasting human cognition with artificial intelligence or machine cognition, but have been less interested in including animal cognition in the analysis - despite the fact that the common biological origins of human and animal cognition suggest that there might be greater resemblance, at least in some respects, between human and animal cognition than between human and machine cognition. There is also a minority of cognitive scientists who simply neglect accumulated psychological knowledge about cognition, whether animal or human.
  • Those psychologists who are committed to radical behaviorism and the experimental analysis of behaviour discount cognitive analyses of animal behavior. This is not surprising since for the most part they also reject cognitive analyses of human behaviour. It is perhaps a category error to oppose behavioural and cognitive analyses: insofar as the study of animal cognition exposes new behavioural phenomena, it simply provides more that a radical behaviourist must explain without using mentalistic language.

To me it looks like a personal opinion, but if we can find reliable sources that would be good. pgr94 (talk) 13:21, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

"this chimpanzee is using a stick to get food"[edit]

That's not a chimp! Sukiari (talk) 06:57, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

Special Issue of Beahvioural Processes[edit]

There is a new issue of BP out this month, March 2009, honouring Sara Shettleworth, she has a good lead article in it that could be useful here. As I am rather busy it would be hard for me to devote time to it, but I can say that it is a pretty damned good paper and could be useful. Oh, full disclosure, I have an article in that issue, and I am a Shettleworth Phd, so well, there you are... Dbrodbeck (talk) 02:54, 17 March 2009 (UTC)


I don't see a reason why there's a link to Anthropomorphism in the 'see also' section, and i think it takes away some objectivity to the article. May someone tell me or otherwise remove the link please? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:12, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

It is there, I imagine, because of the notion that people might athropomorphise is a serious issue (see Shettleworth, 1993 for an explanation of the anthropoecentric programme of animal cognition research)Dbrodbeck (talk) 11:25, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Effects of Humanity on Potential Stunting of Animal Cognition Development?[edit]

That was as concise as i could make my question, and that didnt get me anything from google. So; does anyone know if studies have been done about this? If yes, what are they called (And should we put them here?) If no, feel free to ignore. (talk) 22:03, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Oh yes, also: Id also like to know if there are any studies showing that human activity has advanced any animal cognition? Like, did we teach anything to make tools; stuff that would be obviously a significant mental act beyond simple survival or mimicry. Like, a math-ing horse show or a parrot i would not fit into this. (talk) 22:06, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
Possibly an example of human activity advancing cognition this would be the learning of blue-tits to open milk-bottles left on the doorstep to drink the cream. This behaviour arose spontaneously in London and in the North-west of the UK, but spread country-wide through observational learning. The behaviour is hardly observed now as milkbottles are rarely left on doorsteps these days! DrChrissy (talk) 14:57, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Resource: Panzee research in current Science News[edit]

Chimp has an ear for talk; Language-trained ape recognizes distorted speech surprisingly well by Bruce Bower August 13th, 2011; Vol.180 #4 (p. 16) Science News. Excerpt

Panzee, a chimp now housed at a research facility, uses a portable keyboard to press symbols that stand for spoken words. New evidence indicates that Panzee, much like people, quickly recognizes distorted words that contain few of the acoustic cues in natural speech. ... Panzee doesn’t talk, but she knows a word when she hears one — even if it’s emitted by a computer with a synthetic speech impediment. That’s not too shabby for a chimpanzee. Raised to recognize 128 spoken words by pointing to corresponding symbols, Panzee perceives acoustically distorted words about as well as people do, say psychology graduate student Lisa Heimbauer of Georgia State University in Atlanta and her colleagues. Panzee thus challenges the argument that only people can recognize highly distorted words, thanks to brains tuned to speech sounds and steeped in chatter, the scientists contend in a paper published online June 30 in Current Biology. ... Panzee’s immediate recognition of distorted words “is quite impressive and novel,” remarks psychologist Lori Holt of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. In experiments conducted over the past 30 years, birds, rodents and other nonhuman animals have been trained to identify acoustically altered words. In contrast, Panzee apparently generalized from past experience hearing caretakers talk to distinguish acoustically transformed words, Holt says. ... It’s not known whether any other animals have Panzee’s word-recognition chops. Irene Pepperberg of Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., predicts that parrots could decipher highly distorted speech on their own. Wild parrots recognize species-specific and individual vocal calls in noisy forests, amid cacophonous flocks of comrades, comments Pepperberg, who studies thinking and communication in African gray parrots. Alex, a parrot trained by Pepperberg to use a vocabulary of roughly 100 words, immediately knew familiar words spoken in regional dialects and in thick foreign accents. (talk) 02:02, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Per Talk:Intelligence[edit]

Add The Limits of Intelligence: The laws of physics may well prevent the human brain from evolving into an ever more powerful thinking machine by Douglas Fox in Scientific American June 14, 2011. (talk) 09:13, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

How is that relevant to this article. The title suggests no relevance. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:50, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
honeybee, mammals, elephants, ... just on the first page. Simple dismissal seems unwarranted, Art. (talk) 01:32, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, if you cannot come up with any statement that should be in this article which it could support, it doesn't belong. I don't think you can. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 01:52, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
To whom or what are you talking, Art? (talk) 08:02, 15 December 2011 (UTC) = = ; read WP:EL guidelines. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 08:10, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
As for the content, I don't see anything, at least on the first page, which is related to the subject of this article, even if it does mention animals. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 08:12, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
For goodness sake Arthur, you are really exasperating at times. Read the rest of this source. Although it is written by a freelance journalist, it is nonetheless clearly a major overview as far as animal cognition is concerned. And monsieur, aka, aka ad nauseum... you are equally exasperating. I don't know how many times I've asked you to get a proper account and stop your charade with the dynamic IPs. You two deserve each other. Still, there it goes... you two both seem to enjoy whatever meaning you get out of life with this endless sparring with each other. My main objection is that, put together, the two of you are just plain inefficient, endlessly huffing and puffing at each other with hundreds (thousands?) of edits, wasting Wikipedia resources and the time of other editors who try to process the driveling, yet adding next to nothing of value to Wikipedia. Anyway, I've added the reference as an external link, and when I have more time, if someone doesn't get in ahead, I'll expand the article using this source as an inspiration. --Epipelagic (talk) 09:48, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Why does 'Animal Sentience' redirect to this page?[edit]

Why does 'Animal Sentience' redirect to this page? Animal sentience is about the capacity of animals to experience negative and positive emotional states. This is not even discussed in 'Animal cognition' and surely deserves a page separate to 'Animal cognition'. DrChrissy (talk) 15:08, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Sentience? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:01, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Animals and Reason in Catholic Philosophy[edit]

I think perhaps some mention should be made of animal reason as discussed here, animals and reason as discussed from a Catholic philosophical standpoint. (talk) 02:08, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

This is a science article, why would what any religion thinks matter? Dbrodbeck (talk) 12:52, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
The article referenced is in the Catholic Encyclopedia. It proposes a limited sort of animal rationality. To the extent that the article is based on empirical evidence, this evidence seems to be drawn from the early behavioristic history of animal cognition. Notably, it refers Thorndike (Animal Intelligence, 1911), Yerkes (Dancing Mouse, 1907), and to "recent observations" by Forel, whose major work on ants was published in 1923. Not mentioned are scientific findings from the past 80 years which greatly expand our knowledge of the animal mind. Thus a reference to the Catholic article seems somewhat irrelvant to a modern scientific account. Db4wp (talk) 18:53, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

mathematics or numeracy[edit]

I'm wondering whether the section titled 'Mathematics' should really be 'Numeracy'. All the examples appear to be about the concepts of 'larger or smaller', or 'more or less', rather than adding, subtracting, etc. so I'm not convinced this is strictly mathematics.__DrChrissy (talk) 18:51, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

It should be numerosity, or numeracy or some such thing. As well, it uses primary sources, not secondary ones. We should use secondary ones to avoid WP:SYN. Dbrodbeck (talk) 19:37, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Animal personality or lack thereof[edit]

I remember reading that at a 1991 ethological congress it was decided that the word "personality" should not be applied to animals because it is deemed anthropomorphic and the mere suggestion that animals might have personalities was a "crime of ethology". Where exactly would this go in the section? öBrambleberry of RiverClan 21:52, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

As an ethologist, I would argue that this is a very dated approach - perhaps indicated by the date of the conference to which you refer (it is 22 years old). Whilst the term 'personality' is potentially anthropocentric and discussion of relevant data could be anthropomorphic, there is no doubt that animals have personalities. Anyone with 2 dogs or 2 cats will know that they have differerent personalities, e.g. inquistive or non-inquisitive, which can easily be objectively quantified to show neophilic or neophobic tendencies, i.e. personalities. If the dismissal of personality is discussed, it should be done in the past tense.__DrChrissy (talk) 17:53, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Merging 'Animal insight' and 'Reasoning and problem solving'[edit]

These two sub-sections appear to cover similar material but both contain important information. I believe these sub-sections should be merged under the heading "Animal insight".__DrChrissy (talk) 22:38, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Why not animal intelligence?[edit]

cognition in other articles, this article of intelligence, this absurd and just speciecism -- CYl7EPTEMA777 (talk) 09:35, 12 February 2014 (UTC)

The area of study, for example, is referred to as animal cognition, indeed there is even a peer review journal with that name. Animal Intelligence is not seen as often. It is hardly 'speciesism'. Dbrodbeck (talk) 12:42, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
cognitive ethology not mean that animal intelligence is animal cognition — Preceding unsigned comment added by CYl7EPTEMA777 (talkcontribs) 10:25, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
I have no idea what that means, none at all. It was hard enough parsing your first post in this section. Dbrodbeck (talk) 12:29, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
Definitely rename in animal intelligence - CYl7EPTEMA777 (talk) 07:54, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
Dbrodbeck wrote "Animal Intelligence is not seen as often". It's not true, I googled both terms, animal intellegence return 6 times more results. The article should be renamed to animal intellegence. (talk) 06:41, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
This incoherent trolling from CYl7EPTEMA777 and her IP hopping socks is par for the course and should be ignored. --Epipelagic (talk) 08:00, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
The above is defamation. I don't know who is CYl7EPTEMA777. Epipelagic is a habitual liar, his lies has been documented in many places. For example here (talk) 01:19, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Animal intelligence[edit]

if this article not synonym animal intelligence thereat must create other article animal intelligence -- CYl7EPTEMA777 (talk) 20:51, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Some animals have demonstrated abilities for foresight and planning[edit]

I think the article would benefit from a section on planning.

[...] The results described here suggest that the jays can spontaneously plan for tomorrow without reference to their current motivational state, thereby challenging the idea that this is a uniquely human ability. (Nature. 2007 Feb 22;445(7130):919-21)

There is now growing evidence that some animal species are able to plan for the future. For example great apes save and exchange tools for future use. (Am J Primatol. 2014 Sep 18.)

pgr94 (talk) 22:35, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Planning and forethought...

How about a compendium of research sets that look at this? Is there some kind of 'systematic review' or 'meta-analysis' of this topic? MaynardClark (talk)

I doubt there have been a sufficient number of studies to allow a meta-analysis but there might be a review somewhere. There is a good study showing that portia jumping spider use planning when they are hunting. I'll insert it into the article.__DrChrissy (talk) 16:03, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
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