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Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2016 Oct;69:1-14. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.06.039. Epub 2016 Jul 25.

The perception of self in birds.

Author information

1
Laboratoire Ethologie Cognition Développement, LECD EA3456, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, 200 avenue de la République, F92001 Nanterre cedex, France; Institut Universitaire de France, France. Electronic address: sebastien.deregnaucourt@u-paris10.fr.
2
Laboratoire Ethologie Cognition Développement, LECD EA3456, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, 200 avenue de la République, F92001 Nanterre cedex, France.

Abstract

The perception of self is an important topic in several disciplines such as ethology, behavioral ecology, psychology, developmental and cognitive neuroscience. Self-perception is investigated by experimentally exposing different species of animals to self-stimuli such as their own image, smell or vocalizations. Here we review more than one hundred studies using these methods in birds, a taxonomic group that exhibits a rich diversity regarding ecology and behavior. Exposure to self-image is the main method for studying self-recognition, while exposing birds to their own smell is generally used for the investigation of homing or odor-based kin discrimination. Self-produced vocalizations - especially in oscine songbirds - are used as stimuli for understanding the mechanisms of vocal coding/decoding both at the neural and at the behavioral levels. With this review, we highlight the necessity to study the perception of self in animals cross-modally and to consider the role of experience and development, aspects that can be easily monitored in captive populations of birds.

KEYWORDS:

Animal cognition; Aves; Birds; Bird’s Own Song; Comparative psychology; Consciousness; Mirror self recognition; Neuro-ethology; Odor recognition; Oscine songbirds; Recognition; Self; Song playback; Vocal labeling; Vocal signature; Vocalizations; awareness

PMID:
27461916
DOI:
10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.06.039
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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