Animal Cognition is the science of how animals learn and communicate.
Since animals cannot talk, evolution has allowed them to use signs
for communication. One of the many questions being answered by animal
cognition is the question of do animals think? Well of course,
animals are able to think but at much lower levels than humans. Do
animals communicate? Yes, but we cannot understand them. Most of what
an animal needs to know is already programmed into their genes.
Animals function on three modes, reproduction, feeding , and
self-preservation. The famous question regarding animal language is
if a lion could talk would we understand him?
A major figure in the fielf of behaviorism and is
considered to be the father of operant conditioning.
With pigeons, he developed the ideas of "operant
conditioning" and "shaping behavior."
The Behavior of Organisms
Operant conditoning a term applied by B.F. Skinner to
a process in which learning or behavioral change takes
place as a result of reinforcing (rewarding) the desired
behavior and withholding the reward or actively punishing
undesired behaviors. Examples are teaching a dog new
tricks, and rewarding behavior change in mental patients.
Since we cannot normally understand or communicate directly
with most other species has with animals in the same way that
we communicate with other people, humans have developed three
major ways of working with animals for an better understanding
of their mental processes: (1) Ethological studies, (2)
Behavioral studies, and (3) Interspecific communication.
Ethology - the study of animals in a natural setting.
Science of animal behavior
The basis of social organization is communication, a
process by which the behavior of one individual affects the
behavior of others. Its purpose is to convey emotional state
and thereby control the behaviour of others. Communication
serves to coordinate activities, provide access to resources,
and to enhance mating success.
Medium, Diagrams, Pictures An Introduction of honey
bees. It contains information on the types of honey bees,
what each kind's function is, and what goes on in a typical
This site considers some major strands in the history of
approaches to the study of animal behavior and cognition.
These range from the "anecdotal cognitivism" of the late
nineteeth century to the present-day cognitive ethology via
behaviorsim and classical ethology.