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Bradley R. Sturz, Kent Bodily, Michelle Hernández, Kelly Schmidtke & Jeffrey S. Katz

In: 21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 31: Animal Cognition

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Animal Cognition
Animal cognition

Animal cognition refers to the mechanisms by which nonhuman animals process information and is primarily concerned with understanding how animals learn, store, remember, and respond to information from the environment. Although similar in many respects to the present-day fields of animal learning, behavioral ecology, and ethology, animal cognition has emerged as a distinct area of study by adopting the information-processing perspective from human cognitive psychology. The information-processing perspective assumes that animals form and manipulate internal representations about their environment. As such processes afford flexibility and adaptability in behavior necessary for survival in an ever-changing environment, the information-processing perspective has proved useful in explaining and predicting numerous behavioral phenomena in animals.

Historically, animal cognition finds its roots in the American tradition of animal learning ...

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