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Comparative CognitionExperimental Explorations of Animal Intelligence$
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Wasserman and Thomas R Zentall

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377804

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377804.001.0001

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The Neural Basis of Cognitive Flexibility in Birds

The Neural Basis of Cognitive Flexibility in Birds

(p.619) 31 The Neural Basis of Cognitive Flexibility in Birds
Comparative Cognition

Shigeru Watanabe

Oxford University Press

Cognitive flexibility has a number of different aspects. Three of them are examined in this chapter. First, cognitive flexibility means expansion of knowledge, so the chapter discusses concept discrimination as one example. Second, it analyzes reversal learning and repeated acquisition as a modification of already acquired knowledge. Finally, innovation, or the emergence of novel knowledge, is discussed. After discriminative training, animals respond not only to all of the trained stimuli but also to new stimuli, depending on the similarity of the new stimuli to the trained ones. This phenomenon is known as stimulus generalization. In concept discrimination, subjects are usually exposed to multiple exemplars.

Keywords:   cognitive flexibility, concept discrimination, reversal learning, repeated acquisition, innovation, discriminative training, stimulus generalization

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