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A new approach to comparing problem solving, flexibility and innovation.

Auersperg AM, Gajdon GK, von Bayern AM - Commun Integr Biol (2012)

Bottom Line: Many comparative paradigms have not paid sufficient attention to interspecific differences in anatomical, behavioral and perceptual features, besides psychological variables such as motivation, attentiveness or neophobia, thus potentially producing misrepresentative results.It presents the animal with a novel problem that can be solved in several ways thus offering the possibility to examine species differences in all the above, and extract behavioral and perceptual determinants of their performance.Simultaneously, it is a suitable paradigm to collect comparative data about flexibility, innovativeness and problem solving ability, i.e., theoretical covariates of 'general intelligence', in a standardized manner.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT
Comparative cognition aims at unfolding the cognitive processes underlying animal behavior and their evolution, and is concerned with testing hypotheses about the evolution of the brain and intelligence in general. It is a developing field still challenged by conceptual and methodological issues. Systematic cross-species comparisons of cognitive abilities, taking both phylogeny and ecology into account are still scarce. One major reason for this is that it is very hard to find universally applicable paradigms that can be used to investigate the same cognitive ability or 'general intelligence' in several species. Many comparative paradigms have not paid sufficient attention to interspecific differences in anatomical, behavioral and perceptual features, besides psychological variables such as motivation, attentiveness or neophobia, thus potentially producing misrepresentative results. A new stance for future comparative research may be to establish behavioral and psychological profiles prior or alongside to comparing specific cognitive skills across species. Potentially revealing profiles could be obtained from examining species differences in how novel experimental (extractive foraging) tasks are explored and approached, how solutions are discovered and which ones are preferred, how flexibly multiple solutions are used and how much individual variation occurs, before proceeding to more detailed tests. Such new comparative approach is the Multi-Access-Box. It presents the animal with a novel problem that can be solved in several ways thus offering the possibility to examine species differences in all the above, and extract behavioral and perceptual determinants of their performance. Simultaneously, it is a suitable paradigm to collect comparative data about flexibility, innovativeness and problem solving ability, i.e., theoretical covariates of 'general intelligence', in a standardized manner.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Figure 1. Multi Access Box (MAB) (as in PLoS ONE,13 Copyright 2011 by the Public Library of Science. Reprinted with permission of the author). A food reward presented in the center of a transparent box can be retrieved by one of four possible methods, which are built in the four walls of the MAB: opening a window, pulling a string, inserting a ball or inserting as stick tool. The walls can be replaced with blocked non-functional versions.
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Figure 1: Figure 1. Multi Access Box (MAB) (as in PLoS ONE,13 Copyright 2011 by the Public Library of Science. Reprinted with permission of the author). A food reward presented in the center of a transparent box can be retrieved by one of four possible methods, which are built in the four walls of the MAB: opening a window, pulling a string, inserting a ball or inserting as stick tool. The walls can be replaced with blocked non-functional versions.

Mentions: A new such comparative approach is the Multi-Access-Box (MAB), recently published in PLoS One (see Fig. 113). It presents the animal with a novel problem that can be solved in four different ways, thus offering the possibility to examine species differences in how novel problems are perceived, explored and approached and in which order solution(s) are discovered. This provides several data that can be used for establishing a behavioral (e.g., object exploration,) and psychological profile (e.g., motivation, flexibility, impulsivity, persistence, inhibitory control) and hence extract behavioral and perceptual determinants of different species’ performance in the tasks. Simultaneously, it is a suitable paradigm to collect data about problem solving ability, innovativeness and flexibility, i.e., theoretical covariates of ‘general intelligence’, across species in a standardized manner.


A new approach to comparing problem solving, flexibility and innovation.

Auersperg AM, Gajdon GK, von Bayern AM - Commun Integr Biol (2012)

Figure 1. Multi Access Box (MAB) (as in PLoS ONE,13 Copyright 2011 by the Public Library of Science. Reprinted with permission of the author). A food reward presented in the center of a transparent box can be retrieved by one of four possible methods, which are built in the four walls of the MAB: opening a window, pulling a string, inserting a ball or inserting as stick tool. The walls can be replaced with blocked non-functional versions.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3376048&req=5

Figure 1: Figure 1. Multi Access Box (MAB) (as in PLoS ONE,13 Copyright 2011 by the Public Library of Science. Reprinted with permission of the author). A food reward presented in the center of a transparent box can be retrieved by one of four possible methods, which are built in the four walls of the MAB: opening a window, pulling a string, inserting a ball or inserting as stick tool. The walls can be replaced with blocked non-functional versions.
Mentions: A new such comparative approach is the Multi-Access-Box (MAB), recently published in PLoS One (see Fig. 113). It presents the animal with a novel problem that can be solved in four different ways, thus offering the possibility to examine species differences in how novel problems are perceived, explored and approached and in which order solution(s) are discovered. This provides several data that can be used for establishing a behavioral (e.g., object exploration,) and psychological profile (e.g., motivation, flexibility, impulsivity, persistence, inhibitory control) and hence extract behavioral and perceptual determinants of different species’ performance in the tasks. Simultaneously, it is a suitable paradigm to collect data about problem solving ability, innovativeness and flexibility, i.e., theoretical covariates of ‘general intelligence’, across species in a standardized manner.

Bottom Line: Many comparative paradigms have not paid sufficient attention to interspecific differences in anatomical, behavioral and perceptual features, besides psychological variables such as motivation, attentiveness or neophobia, thus potentially producing misrepresentative results.It presents the animal with a novel problem that can be solved in several ways thus offering the possibility to examine species differences in all the above, and extract behavioral and perceptual determinants of their performance.Simultaneously, it is a suitable paradigm to collect comparative data about flexibility, innovativeness and problem solving ability, i.e., theoretical covariates of 'general intelligence', in a standardized manner.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT
Comparative cognition aims at unfolding the cognitive processes underlying animal behavior and their evolution, and is concerned with testing hypotheses about the evolution of the brain and intelligence in general. It is a developing field still challenged by conceptual and methodological issues. Systematic cross-species comparisons of cognitive abilities, taking both phylogeny and ecology into account are still scarce. One major reason for this is that it is very hard to find universally applicable paradigms that can be used to investigate the same cognitive ability or 'general intelligence' in several species. Many comparative paradigms have not paid sufficient attention to interspecific differences in anatomical, behavioral and perceptual features, besides psychological variables such as motivation, attentiveness or neophobia, thus potentially producing misrepresentative results. A new stance for future comparative research may be to establish behavioral and psychological profiles prior or alongside to comparing specific cognitive skills across species. Potentially revealing profiles could be obtained from examining species differences in how novel experimental (extractive foraging) tasks are explored and approached, how solutions are discovered and which ones are preferred, how flexibly multiple solutions are used and how much individual variation occurs, before proceeding to more detailed tests. Such new comparative approach is the Multi-Access-Box. It presents the animal with a novel problem that can be solved in several ways thus offering the possibility to examine species differences in all the above, and extract behavioral and perceptual determinants of their performance. Simultaneously, it is a suitable paradigm to collect comparative data about flexibility, innovativeness and problem solving ability, i.e., theoretical covariates of 'general intelligence', in a standardized manner.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus