Cognitive Ecology II
Edited by Reuven Dukas and John M. Ratcliffe University of Chicago Press, 2009 Library of Congress QL785.C512 2009 | Dewey Decimal 591.513
Merging evolutionary ecology and cognitive science, cognitive ecology investigates how animal interactions with natural habitats shape cognitive systems, and how constraints on nervous systems limit or bias animal behavior. Research in cognitive ecology has expanded rapidly in the past decade, and this second volume builds on the foundations laid out in the first, published in 1998.
Cognitive Ecology II integrates numerous scientific disciplines to analyze the ecology and evolution of animal cognition. The contributors cover the mechanisms, ecology, and evolution of learning and memory, including detailed analyses of bee neurobiology, bird song, and spatial learning. They also explore decision making, with mechanistic analyses of reproductive behavior in voles, escape hatching by frog embryos, and predation in the auditory domain of bats and eared insects. Finally, they consider social cognition, focusing on alarm calls and the factors determining social learning strategies of corvids, fish, and mammals.
With cognitive ecology ascending to its rightful place in behavioral and evolutionary research, this volume captures the promise that has been realized in the past decade and looks forward to new research prospects.
How does the environment shape the ways an animal processes information and makes decisions? How do constraints imposed on nervous systems affect an animal's activities? To help answer these questions, Cognitive Ecology integrates evolutionary ecology and cognitive science, demonstrating how studies of perception, memory, and learning can deepen our understanding of animal behavior and ecology.
Individual chapters consider such issues as the evolution of learning and its influence on behavior; the effects of cognitive mechanisms on the evolution of signaling behavior; how neurobiological and evolutionary processes have shaped navigational activities; functional and mechanical explanations for altered behaviors in response to changing environments; how foragers make decisions and how these decisions are influenced by the risks of predation; and how cognitive mechanisms affect partner choice.
Cognitive Ecology will encourage biologists to consider how animal cognition affects behavior, and will also interest comparative psychologists and cognitive scientists.