social cognition

The Thoughtful Animal

Tag archives for social cognition

In general, the ability to attribute attention to others seems important: it allows an animal to notice the presence of other individuals (whether conspecifics, prey, or predators) as well as important locations or events by following the body orientation or eyegaze of others. We’ve spent a lot of time here at The Thoughtful Animal thinking…

She: “What are you writing about?” Me: “Cognition in cold-blooded animals.” She: “Hot.” Most people who study cognition focus on mammals or birds. But I hope I’ve convinced you that other animals are important to investigate as well. One research group at the University of Vienna likes cold-blooded critters. Turtles and lizards and such. They…

Dogs are particularly good at tasks that involve communicating or cooperating with humans, which has led some researchers to speculate that they are really good at solving social tasks, more generally. For example, dogs can figure out where a human’s attention is, are really good at picking up on eye-gaze and finger pointing cues, distinguish…

[It's a really busy week over here at blog headquarters, because it is data collection week. Data collection week is awesome, but it means less time for blogging. So here's a piece from the archives. I picked this one especially for Drugmonkey, because he liked it so much.] The Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) is a…

Elephants Say “Bee-ware!”

What information is contained in the call of a mammal? Some calls might reflect the internal emotional state of the animal, like fear or anxiety, or they can refer to an external object, agent, or event, like the presence of a predator. Rhesus monkeys, lemurs, baboons, and guinea pigs, for example, will produce calls when…