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Biol Lett. 2011 Aug 23;7(4):631-3. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0556. Epub 2010 Aug 18.

Taxonomic counts of cognition in the wild.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, McGill University, 1205, Avenue Docteur Penfield, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3A 1B1. louis.lefebvre@mcgill.ca

Abstract

In 1985, Kummer & Goodall pleaded for an ecology of intelligence and proposed that innovations might be a good way to measure cognition in the wild. Counts of innovation per taxonomic group are now available in hundreds of avian and primate species, as are counts of tactical deception, tool use and social learning. Robust evidence suggests that innovation rate and its neural correlates allow birds and mammals to cope better with environmental change. The positive correlations between taxonomic counts, and the increasing number of cognitive and neural measures found to be associated with ecological variables, suggest that domain general processes might be more pervasive than previously thought in the evolution of intelligence.

PMID:
20719769
PMCID:
PMC3130206
DOI:
10.1098/rsbl.2010.0556
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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