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Behav. Sci. 2016, 6(4), 19; doi:10.3390/bs6040019

The Effect of Computerized Testing on Sun Bear Behavior and Enrichment Preferences

Department of Psychology, Agnes Scott College, 141 E. College Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030, USA
Academic Editor: Jennifer Vonk
Received: 21 July 2016 / Revised: 13 September 2016 / Accepted: 18 September 2016 / Published: 22 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Animal Cognition)
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Abstract

The field of comparative cognition investigates species’ differences and similarities in cognitive abilities, and sheds light on the evolutionary origins of such capacities. Cognitive testing has been carried out in a variety of species; however, there are some taxa that are underrepresented in this field. The current work follows on a recent increase in cognitive research in the order Carnivora with a specific focus on sun bears. Sun bears are the smallest existing bear species and live in tropical regions of Southeast Asia. They have an omnivorous diet and use their tongues to forage for insects and sap. Little is known about sun bear cognition, although much like other bear species, anecdotes suggest a high level of intelligence. The current work explored training sun bears to use a touchscreen computer. This effort allows for insight into cognitive abilities as well as providing a complex source of enrichment for the bears. The bears use their tongues to respond to a touchscreen computer, and the effects on stereotypic behaviors on exhibit and preference for this over other forms of enrichment were examined. Overall, bears performed well on the task and showed a preference for the computer. View Full-Text
Keywords: sun bear; comparative cognition; touchscreen computer; stereotypy sun bear; comparative cognition; touchscreen computer; stereotypy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Perdue, B.M. The Effect of Computerized Testing on Sun Bear Behavior and Enrichment Preferences. Behav. Sci. 2016, 6, 19.

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