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Psittacine cognition: Individual differences and sources of variation



Psittacine cognition: Individual differences and sources of variation



Behavioural Processes 134: 103-109



Both the number and breadth of avian cognition studies have expanded in the past three decades. Parrots have a long history as subjects in avian cognition research. This paper summarizes results from a number of parrot species tested on basic learning, and physical & social cognitive processes, with an emphasis on individual differences. Early psittacine studies were aimed at demonstrating a particular cognitive ability existed in a given species. Because of this proof of capacity focus, early studies typically included only a single individual or a dyad of parrots. Existing reviews of parrot cognition tend to focus on a particular cognitive component in a single species, or even a single individual. Despite the narrow focus, results from increasing sample sizes show intraspecific variation across a variety of cognitive assessments and parrot species. Intraspecific variability in performance on cognitive tasks highlights the need for establishing a cognitive normal range for a given species and process. To accomplish this, large numbers of individuals need to be tested and non-cognitive sources of variability need to be controlled. Once species typical cognitive normal ranges are established, cognitive comparisons can be made between parrot species and between parrots and other taxa.

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Accession: 058657026

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 27880867

DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2016.11.008


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