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Comparative Cognition

An undergraduate introduction, integrating classic studies and contemporary research in psychology, biology and neuroscience
Incorporates both controlled laboratory studies of cognition and comparative cross-species studies in the natural environment, providing a balanced view of both ethological and neurobiological perspectives on the study of cognition
Includes feature boxes, encouraging active and engaged learning, along with numerous end-of-chapter questions

By: Mary C Olmstead (Author), Valerie A Kuhlmeier (Author)

471 pages, 214 b/w photos and b/w illustrations, 1 table

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Jan 2015 | #214951 | ISBN-13: 9781107648319
Availability: In stock
NHBS Price: £34.99 $42/€39 approx
Hardback | Jan 2015 | #214952 | ISBN-13: 9781107011168
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £79.99 $97/€89 approx

About this book

Integrating developments from psychology, ethology and neuroscience, this is an undergraduate introduction to cognitive processes across species. The authors merge classic studies and contemporary research to give students a full picture of the evolving field of comparative cognition. Engaging students in the discipline from its roots in animal learning and evolutionary biology through to current research, the chapters cover both controlled laboratory and comparative cross-species studies in the natural environment. This approach provides students with complementary ethological and neurobiological perspectives on cognition. Feature boxes encourage active and engaged learning, giving a deeper understanding of topics discussed in the main text. These are supported by end-of-chapter questions to check understanding and encourage wider thinking around topics. Online resources include solutions to questions in Comparative Cognition, advanced material, PowerPoint lecture slides and additional questions, all available at

Please note: not to be confused with the 2009 book by Wasserman & Zentall by the same title.

"Comparative Cognition provides a clear and comprehensive review and an engaging synthesis of the key topics in this rapidly developing field. Like the other classic textbooks on animal cognition this book integrates knowledge of experimental psychology and evolutionary biology, reflecting the roots of this discipline in comparative psychology and ethology. It also contains a number of novel features, with its enhanced emphasis on both evolutionary function and the underlying neural mechanisms. These include feature boxes that describe key concepts in more detail, and researcher profiles that capture the contribution of some of the major figureheads in the field. A particular highlight is the series of questions at the end of each chapter, which encourage students to think more deeply about the issues raised, and to design experiments to test the competing hypotheses."
– Nicola S. Clayton, University of Cambridge

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Comparative Cognition

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1. History of comparative cognition
2. Sensory systems
3. Memory
4. Associative processes
5. Orientation and navigation
6. Timing and number
7. Decision making
8. Causality and tool use
9. Categorization and concept formation
10. Social competence
11. Prosocial behavior
12. Communication
13. Learning from others

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Mary C. Olmstead is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Queen's University, Ontario. Her research is directed towards understanding the neural and psychological interface between motivation and cognition, or how rewarding stimuli influence learning.

Valerie A. Kuhlmeier is Associate Professor of Psychology and Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Development at Queen's University, Ontario. Her research programme explores cognition from a developmental and evolutionary perspective.

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