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Behav. Sci., Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2013), Pages 1-191

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Stereotypical Behaviors in Chimpanzees Rescued from the African Bushmeat and Pet Trade
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(1), 1-20; doi:10.3390/bs3010001
Received: 26 October 2012 / Revised: 17 December 2012 / Accepted: 18 December 2012 / Published: 27 December 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (922 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many orphaned chimpanzees whose mothers are illegally killed for their meat (bushmeat) in Africa are sold as pets or kept caged at hotels and businesses to attract tourists. As a result of being separated from their mothers and other chimpanzees at an early
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Many orphaned chimpanzees whose mothers are illegally killed for their meat (bushmeat) in Africa are sold as pets or kept caged at hotels and businesses to attract tourists. As a result of being separated from their mothers and other chimpanzees at an early age, and spending years in impoverished captive conditions, some of these individuals engage in abnormal behaviors, including stereotypically scratching at their flesh and repetitively rocking back and forth. This paper presents case studies of Poco and Safari, two chimpanzees who were rescued by sanctuaries after living alone on display for humans at businesses for the first 7 to 8 years of their lives. Decades after their rescue, they still engage in stereotypical behaviors as a result of the psychological and physical trauma they endured early on. This paper combines data from in depth interviews with caregivers and direct observations of abnormal behaviors to assess psychological distress in captive-living chimpanzees. Our results highlight some lesser known harms of the bushmeat trade and the detrimental life-long consequences that keeping chimpanzees as “pets” can have on their mental health. Full article
Open AccessCommunication Cognition is … Fundamentally Cultural
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(1), 42-54; doi:10.3390/bs3010042
Received: 3 December 2012 / Revised: 11 December 2012 / Accepted: 17 December 2012 / Published: 4 January 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (67 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A prevailing concept of cognition in psychology is inspired by the computer metaphor. Its focus on mental states that are generated and altered by information input, processing, storage and transmission invites a disregard for the cultural dimension of cognition, based on three (implicit)
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A prevailing concept of cognition in psychology is inspired by the computer metaphor. Its focus on mental states that are generated and altered by information input, processing, storage and transmission invites a disregard for the cultural dimension of cognition, based on three (implicit) assumptions: cognition is internal, processing can be distinguished from content, and processing is independent of cultural background. Arguing against each of these assumptions, we point out how culture may affect cognitive processes in various ways, drawing on instances from numerical cognition, ethnobiological reasoning, and theory of mind. Given the pervasive cultural modulation of cognition—on all of Marr’s levels of description—we conclude that cognition is indeed fundamentally cultural, and that consideration of its cultural dimension is essential for a comprehensive understanding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What is Cognition?)
Open AccessArticle Problems of Teaching the Behaviorist Perspective in the Cognitive Revolution
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(1), 55-71; doi:10.3390/bs3010055
Received: 13 November 2012 / Revised: 25 December 2012 / Accepted: 28 December 2012 / Published: 8 January 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (78 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article offers some personal reflections on the difficulty of teaching the behaviorist perspective in the psychology classroom. The problems focus on the inadequacy of introductory textbooks—which mischaracterize behaviorism, only present the most extreme behaviorist positions, make no mention of the neobehaviorist perspective,
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This article offers some personal reflections on the difficulty of teaching the behaviorist perspective in the psychology classroom. The problems focus on the inadequacy of introductory textbooks—which mischaracterize behaviorism, only present the most extreme behaviorist positions, make no mention of the neobehaviorist perspective, fail to discuss that there is no accepted criteria for determining what type of behavior is cognitive, and provide a definition of cognition that is, not only inconsistent across texts, but so broad as to overshadow the behaviorist contributions. Suggestions are provided for instructors on how to present to their students an accurate portrayal of behaviorism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What is Cognition?)
Open AccessArticle Response to Hypothetical Social Scenarios in Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury Who Present Inappropriate Social Behavior: A Preliminary Report
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(1), 72-98; doi:10.3390/bs3010072
Received: 4 December 2012 / Revised: 24 December 2012 / Accepted: 18 January 2013 / Published: 24 January 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (188 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Very little research thus far has examined the decision making that underlies inappropriate social behavior (ISB) post-TBI (traumatic brain injury). Objectives: To verify the usefulness of a new instrument, the Social Responding Task, for investigating whether, in social decision making, individuals with
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Background: Very little research thus far has examined the decision making that underlies inappropriate social behavior (ISB) post-TBI (traumatic brain injury). Objectives: To verify the usefulness of a new instrument, the Social Responding Task, for investigating whether, in social decision making, individuals with TBI, who present inappropriate social behavior (ISB), have difficulty anticipating their own feelings of embarrassment and others’ angry reactions following an ISB. Methods: Seven subjects with TBI presenting with inappropriate social behavior (TBI-ISB), 10 presenting with appropriate social behavior (TBI-ASB), and 15 healthy controls were given 12 hypothetical scenarios three times, each time ending with a different behavioral response. Subjects were asked to gauge the likelihood of their displaying the behavior in that situation (part A) and of it being followed by an angry reaction from the other or by feelings of embarrassment in themselves (part B). Results: TBI-ISB subjects scored higher than TBI-ASB and healthy controls on a scale of likelihood of displaying an ISB. Results regarding expectations of angry reactions from others and feelings of embarrassment after an ISB were similar among groups. Negative correlations between endorsement of an inappropriate behavior and anticipation of negative emotional consequences were significant for both TBI-ASB and control subjects, but not for TBI-ISB subjects. Conclusions: Results suggest that the TBI-ISB participants were likely to endorse an ISB despite being able to anticipate a negative emotional response in themselves or others, suggesting that there were other explanations for their poor behavior. A self-reported likely response to hypothetical social scenarios can be a useful approach for studying the neurocognitive processes behind the poor choices of individuals with TBI-ISB, but the task needs further validation studies. A comprehensive discussion follows on the underlying mechanisms affecting social behaviors after a TBI. Full article
Open AccessArticle Long-Term Evaluation of Abnormal Behavior in Adult Ex-laboratory Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) Following Re-socialization
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(1), 99-119; doi:10.3390/bs3010099
Received: 31 December 2012 / Revised: 20 January 2013 / Accepted: 23 January 2013 / Published: 31 January 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (245 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Adverse rearing conditions are considered a major factor in the development of abnormal behavior. We investigated the overall levels, the prevalence and the diversity of abnormal behavior of 18 adult former laboratory chimpanzees, who spent about 20 years single caged, over a two-year
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Adverse rearing conditions are considered a major factor in the development of abnormal behavior. We investigated the overall levels, the prevalence and the diversity of abnormal behavior of 18 adult former laboratory chimpanzees, who spent about 20 years single caged, over a two-year period following re-socialization. According to the onset of deprivation, the individuals were classified as early deprived (EDs, mean: 1.2 years) or late deprived (LDs, mean: 3.6 years). The results are based on 187.5 hours of scan sampling distributed over three sample periods: subsequent to re-socialization and during the first and second year of group-living. While the overall levels and the diversity of abnormal behavior remained stable over time in this study population, the amplifying effects of age at onset of deprivation became apparent as the overall levels of abnormal behavior of EDs were far above those of LDs in the first and second year of group-living, but not immediately after re-socialization. The most prevalent abnormal behaviors, including eating disorders and self-directed behaviors, however, varied in their occurrence within subjects across the periods. Most important, the significance of social companionship became obvious as the most severe forms of abnormal behavior, such as dissociative and self-injurious behaviors declined. Full article
Open AccessArticle Narrowing Perceptual Sensitivity to the Native Language in Infancy: Exogenous Influences on Developmental Timing
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(1), 120-132; doi:10.3390/bs3010120
Received: 15 October 2012 / Revised: 28 January 2013 / Accepted: 29 January 2013 / Published: 6 February 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (178 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The infancy literature situates the perceptual narrowing of speech sounds at around 10 months of age, but little is known about the mechanisms that influence individual differences in this developmental milestone. We hypothesized that such differences might in part be explained by characteristics
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The infancy literature situates the perceptual narrowing of speech sounds at around 10 months of age, but little is known about the mechanisms that influence individual differences in this developmental milestone. We hypothesized that such differences might in part be explained by characteristics of mother-child interaction. Infant sensitivity to syllables from their native tongue was compared longitudinally to sensitivity to non-native phonemes, at 6 months and again at 10 months. We replicated previous findings that at the group level, both 6- and 10- month-olds were able to discriminate contrasts in their native language, but only 6-month-olds succeeded in discriminating contrasts in the non-native language. However, when discrimination was assessed for separate groups on the basis of mother-child interaction—a ‘high contingency group’ and a ‘moderate contingency’ group—the vast majority of infants in both groups showed the expected developmental pattern by 10 months, but only infants in the ‘high contingency’ group showed early specialization for their native phonemes by failing to discriminate non-native contrasts at 6-months. The findings suggest that the quality of mother-child interaction is one of the exogenous factors influencing the timing of infant specialization for speech processing. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Search for Cognitive Terminology: An Analysis of Comparative Psychology Journal Titles
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(1), 133-142; doi:10.3390/bs3010133
Received: 13 November 2012 / Revised: 30 January 2013 / Accepted: 31 January 2013 / Published: 7 February 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (268 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This research examines the employment of cognitive or mentalist words in the titles of articles from three comparative psychology journals (Journal of Comparative Psychology, International Journal of Comparative Psychology, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes; 8,572 titles, >100,000 words). The
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This research examines the employment of cognitive or mentalist words in the titles of articles from three comparative psychology journals (Journal of Comparative Psychology, International Journal of Comparative Psychology, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes; 8,572 titles, >100,000 words). The Dictionary of Affect in Language, coupled with a word search of titles, was employed to demonstrate cognitive creep. The use of cognitive terminology increased over time (1940–2010) and the increase was especially notable in comparison to the use of behavioral words, highlighting a progressively cognitivist approach to comparative research. Problems associated with the use of cognitive terminology in this domain include a lack of operationalization and a lack of portability. There were stylistic differences among journals including an increased use of words rated as pleasant and concrete across years for Journal of Comparative Psychology, and a greater use of emotionally unpleasant and concrete words in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What is Cognition?)
Open AccessArticle An Overview of the First Use of the Terms Cognition and Behavior
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(1), 143-153; doi:10.3390/bs3010143
Received: 12 November 2012 / Revised: 31 January 2013 / Accepted: 4 February 2013 / Published: 7 February 2013
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Abstract
Use of the terms cognition and behavior and their variants can be traced back to the middle-ages. What is not widely known is how the terms were first used in the literature. This article identifies variations of terms for cognition and behavior and
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Use of the terms cognition and behavior and their variants can be traced back to the middle-ages. What is not widely known is how the terms were first used in the literature. This article identifies variations of terms for cognition and behavior and traces the first use of the terms using the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). A systematic search of the OED was conducted, identifying terms in the cognition and behavior families. Terms are defined and the year the term first appeared in the literature is identified. Terms are sorted and grouped chronologically by first appearance to determine their first use in the literature as noted in the OED. Results indicated more words are related to cognition than behavior. The first term related to cognition to appear was cogitation in circa 1225; while the first term related to behavior was port, which appeared circa 1330. Each family of terms experienced tremendous growth during the first appearance of terms. The cognition family saw 60% of its terms appear in the 17th and 19th centuries. The behavior family saw nearly 75% of its terms make their first appearance during the 15th through the 17th centuries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What is Cognition?)
Open AccessArticle What do We Know about Neonatal Cognition?
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(1), 154-169; doi:10.3390/bs3010154
Received: 12 December 2012 / Revised: 15 February 2013 / Accepted: 16 February 2013 / Published: 27 February 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (229 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Research on neonatal cognition has developed very recently in comparison with the long history of research on child behavior. The last sixty years of research have provided a great amount of evidence for infants’ numerous cognitive abilities. However, only little of this research
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Research on neonatal cognition has developed very recently in comparison with the long history of research on child behavior. The last sixty years of research have provided a great amount of evidence for infants’ numerous cognitive abilities. However, only little of this research concerns newborn infants. What do we know about neonatal cognition? Using a variety of paradigms, researchers became able to probe for what newborns know. Amongst these results, we can distinguish several levels of cognitive abilities. First, at the perceptual or sensory level, newborns are able to process information coming from the social world and the physical objects through all their senses. They are able to discriminate between object shapes and between faces; that is, they are able to detect invariants, remember and recognize them. Second, newborns are able to abstract information, to compare different inputs and to match them across different sensory modalities. We will argue that these two levels can be considered high-level cognitive abilities: they constitute the foundations of human cognition. Furthermore, while some perceptual competencies can stem from the fetal period, many of these perceptual and cognitive abilities cannot be a consequence of the environment surrounding the newborn before birth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What is Cognition?)
Open AccessArticle Everyday Problem Solving and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living: Support for Domain Specificity
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(1), 170-191; doi:10.3390/bs3010170
Received: 3 December 2012 / Revised: 21 February 2013 / Accepted: 26 February 2013 / Published: 7 March 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (152 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Research suggests that performance on cognitive tasks resembling daily challenges (i.e., everyday problem-solving tasks) may be a better indicator of functional ability in old age compared to traditional measures of cognitive ability. Findings demonstrating this link, however, have yielded mixed results.
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Research suggests that performance on cognitive tasks resembling daily challenges (i.e., everyday problem-solving tasks) may be a better indicator of functional ability in old age compared to traditional measures of cognitive ability. Findings demonstrating this link, however, have yielded mixed results. The current study examined performance on the Everyday Problems Test (EPT) and self-reported ability to perform Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) in a sample of adults over age 50. The EPT measures cognitive performance on tasks with domains consistent with IADLs (telephone use, shopping, meal preparation, housekeeping, transportation, health and finances). Although overall EPT scores and self-reported IADLs were significantly related (rs = 0.20; p < 0.05), additional analyses revealed that domain-specific EPT performance related to IADL reports within the same domain for shopping, meal preparation, housekeeping, and financial management after accounting for other variables such as age, sex, and measures of cognitive ability including total EPT score. These findings suggest that domain-specific performance on cognitive everyday problem-solving tasks may add to the predictability of specific IADLs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What is Cognition?)

Review

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Open AccessReview From Augustine of Hippo’s Memory Systems to Our Modern Taxonomy in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience of Memory: A 16-Century Nap of Intuition before Light of Evidence
Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(1), 21-41; doi:10.3390/bs3010021
Received: 9 October 2012 / Revised: 12 December 2012 / Accepted: 18 December 2012 / Published: 27 December 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (196 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over the last half century, neuropsychologists, cognitive psychologists and cognitive neuroscientists interested in human memory have accumulated evidence showing that there is not one general memory function but a variety of memory systems deserving distinct (but for an organism, complementary) functional entities. The
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Over the last half century, neuropsychologists, cognitive psychologists and cognitive neuroscientists interested in human memory have accumulated evidence showing that there is not one general memory function but a variety of memory systems deserving distinct (but for an organism, complementary) functional entities. The first attempts to organize memory systems within a taxonomic construct are often traced back to the French philosopher Maine de Biran (1766–1824), who, in his book first published in 1803, distinguished mechanical memory, sensitive memory and representative memory, without, however, providing any experimental evidence in support of his view. It turns out, however, that what might be regarded as the first elaborated taxonomic proposal is 14 centuries older and is due to Augustine of Hippo (354–430), also named St Augustine, who, in Book 10 of his Confessions, by means of an introspective process that did not aim at organizing memory systems, nevertheless distinguished and commented on sensible memory, intellectual memory, memory of memories, memory of feelings and passion, and memory of forgetting. These memories were envisaged as different and complementary instances. In the current study, after a short biographical synopsis of St Augustine, we provide an outline of the philosopher’s contribution, both in terms of questions and answers, and focus on how this contribution almost perfectly fits with several viewpoints of modern psychology and neuroscience of memory about human memory functions, including the notion that episodic autobiographical memory stores events of our personal history in their what, where and when dimensions, and from there enables our mental time travel. It is not at all meant that St Augustine’s elaboration was the basis for the modern taxonomy, but just that the similarity is striking, and that the architecture of our current viewpoints about memory systems might have preexisted as an outstanding intuition in the philosopher’s mind. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What is Cognition?)

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