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Encyclopedia > Animal intelligence

The term Animal intelligence is currently used in three distinct but overlapping ways: as a synonym for animal cognition, to pose the question “are animals intelligent?”, or to denote a discussion of relative levels of intelligence in different animal species. Animal cognition is the title given to a modern approach to the mental capacities of animals. ...

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Cognition in animals

"Animal intelligence" may simply denote the study of cognition in animals. This was the earliest use of the term, and it is what George Romanes had in mind when he entitled a book Animal Intelligence. The modern name for this subject of study is animal cognition. Discussion of particular kinds of intelligence in animals can be found in that article or in articles linked from it. Phyla Porifera (sponges) Ctenophora (comb jellies) Cnidaria (coral, jellyfish, anenomes) Placozoa (trichoplax) Subregnum Bilateria (bilateral symmetry) Acoelomorpha (basal) Orthonectida (flatworms, echinoderms, etc. ... Intelligence is usually said to involve mental capabilities such as the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn. ... Look up Cognition on Wiktionary, the free dictionary The term cognition is used in several different loosely related ways. ... A 19th century naturalist, George John Romanes (May 19, 1848 - May 23, 1894), coined the term, and laid the foundation of, comparative psychology, and postulated a similarity of cognitive processes and mechanisms between humans and animals. ... Animal cognition is the title given to a modern approach to the mental capacities of animals. ...


Raising the question "Are animals intelligent?"

The phrase "animal intelligence" may introduce a discussion about whether it is meaningful to speak of animals as "intelligent" at all, or whether animal behaviour should instead be thought of as a series of unthinking mechanical responses to stimuli that originate in the animal's internal or external environments, with only humans being capable of conscious thought and flexible responding. This debate is now largely obsolete. On the one hand, it has been superseded by a more empirically-driven discussion about whether the research program of animal cognition, which assumes that animals have cognitive processes similar to those of humans, is or is not successful. On the other hand, it has been made obsolete by any of a number of more modern approaches to human intelligence. The radical behaviourists would see no place for cognition in the explanation even of human behaviour, while the study of artificial intelligence shows that much of what were once thought to be uniquely human mental capacities can be mimicked by an essentially mechanical system. Nonetheless, the question is unlikely to go away completely. The reasons for its persistence are philosophical and ethical as well as (perhaps more than) scientific. The philosophical question is the issue of the animal mind, which is related to the general question of other minds and how to define and quantify consciousness. The ethical significance of this research stems from the widespread belief that causing pain and suffering is morally wrong. If it were concluded that animals were conscious persons like human individuals, would we be able to slaughter them for food? And if so what makes cannibalism immoral? Radical behaviorism is a philosophy that underlies the experimental analysis of behavior approach to psychology, developed by B. F. Skinner. ... Artificial intelligence (AI) is defined as intelligence exhibited by an artificial entity. ... The question of animal minds asks whether it is necessary, or possible, to describe a non-human animal as having a mind. ... The mind is the term most commonly used to describe the higher functions of the human brain, particularly those of which humans are subjectivel // holaMedia:Example. ... Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and ones environment. ... Ethics (from Greek ethikos) is the branch of axiology – one of the four major branches of philosophy, alongside metaphysics, epistemology, and logic – which attempts to understand the nature of morality; to define that which is right from that which is wrong. ...


Relative intelligence of different animal species

People have always viewed some animals as more intelligent than others: in European cultures, dogs, horses, great apes and (more recently) dolphins and parrots are seen as intelligent in ways that other animals are not. Crows have been attributed with humanlike intelligence by almost every culture that has encountered them. A number of recent survey studies have demonstrated the consistency of these rankings between people in a given culture. A common image is the scala naturae, the ladder of nature on which animals of different species occupy successively higher rungs, with humans typically at the top. Comparative psychologists have sought in vain for ways of providing an objective underpinning for these essentially subjective and anthropocentric judgements. Part of the difficulty is the lack of agreement about what we mean by intelligence even in humans (it obviously makes a big difference whether language is considered as essential for intelligence, for example). But in any case, different animals (including humans) seem to have different kinds of cognitive processes, which are better understood in terms of the ways in which they are cognitively adapted to their different ecological niches, than by positing any kind of hierarchy. One question that can be asked coherently is how far different species are intelligent in the same ways as humans are, i.e. are their cognitive processes similar to ours. Not surprisingly, our closest biological relatives, the great apes, tend to do best on such an assessment. It is less clear that the species traditionally held to be intelligent do unusually well against this standard, though among the birds, corvids and parrots typically are found to outperform other groups, and among the carnivores, dogs generally show better performance than cats. Despite ambitious claims, evidence of unusually high human-like intelligence among cetaceans is patchy, partly because the cost and difficulty of carrying out research with marine mammals mean that experiments frequently suffer from small sample sizes and inadequate controls and replication. Octopuses also exhibit many seemingly higher-level problem-solving skills. Trinomial name Canis lupus familiaris (Linnaeus, 1758) The dog is a canine mammal of the Order Carnivora that has been domesticated for at least 24,800 years and perhaps for as long as 150,000 years based on recent evidence. ... Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 The Horse (Equus caballus) is a sizeable ungulate mammal, one of the seven modern species of the genus Equus. ... Genera Subfamily Ponginae Pongo - Orangutans Gigantopithecus (extinct) Sivapithecus (extinct) Subfamily Homininae Gorilla - Gorillas Pan - Chimpanzees Homo - Humans Paranthropus (extinct) Australopithecus (extinct) Sahelanthropus (extinct) Ardipithecus (extinct) Kenyanthropus (extinct) Pierolapithecus (extinct) (tentative) The Hominids (Hominidae) are a biological family which includes humans, extinct species of humanlike creatures and the other great apes... Genera See article below. ... Genera A parrot is any of the many birds belonging to the family Psittacidae. ... For other uses of the word Crow, please see Crow (disambiguation). ... Comparative psychology, taken in its most usual, broad, sense, refers in to the study of the behaviour and mental life of animals other than human beings. ... Intelligence is usually said to involve mental capabilities such as the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn. ... In ecology, a niche is a term describing the relational position of a species or population in an ecosystem. ... Genera Platylophus Gymnorhinus Cyanocitta Aphelocoma Cyanocorax Garrulus Cissa Perisoreus Urocissa Cyanopica Dendrocitta Crypsirina Pica Zavattariornis Podoces Nucifraga Pyrrhocorax Ptilostomus Corvus The crow family (Corvidae) has members that are above average in size for the bird order Passeriformes; in fact, it includes several that are among the largest. ... Trinomial name Felis silvestris catus (Linnaeus, 1758) This article is about the domestic cat. ... Suborders Mysticeti Odontoceti (see text) The order Cetacea includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. ... Families 14 in two suborders, see text. ...


Most Intelligent Animals on Earth

Genera Subfamily Ponginae Pongo - Orangutans Gigantopithecus (extinct) Sivapithecus (extinct) Subfamily Homininae Gorilla - Gorillas Pan - Chimpanzees Homo - Humans Paranthropus (extinct) Australopithecus (extinct) Sahelanthropus (extinct) Ardipithecus (extinct) Kenyanthropus (extinct) Pierolapithecus (extinct) (tentative) The Hominids (Hominidae) are a biological family which includes humans, extinct species of humanlike creatures and the other great apes... Human beings are defined variously in biological, spiritual, and cultural terms, or in combinations thereof. ... Species Pan troglodytes Pan paniscus Chimpanzees, also called chimps, are the common name for two species in the genus Pan. ... Families Cebidae Nyctipithecidae Pitheciidae Atelidae The New World monkeys or Platyrrhines are the four families of primates that are found in Central and South America, the Cebidae, Nyctipithecidae, Pitheciidae and Atelidae. ... Suborders Mysticeti Odontoceti (see text) The order Cetacea includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. ... Genera See article below. ... Whales are the largest species of exclusively aquatic placental mammals, members of the order Cetacea, which also includes dolphins and porpoises. ... A canine may refer to: a canine tooth. ... Genera Caracal Catopuma Felis Herpailurus Leopardus Leptailurus Lynx Oncifelis Oreailurus Otocolobus Prionailurus Profelis Puma Felinaeis a subfamily of the Felidae, the family which contains all true cats. ... Species Sus barbatus Sus bucculentus Sus cebifrons Sus celebensis Sus domesticus Sus heureni Sus philippensis Sus salvanius Sus scrofa Sus timoriensis Sus verrucosus Pigs are ungulates native to Eurasia collectively grouped under the genus Sus within the Suidae family. ... Families 14 in two suborders, see text. ... Genera Platylophus Gymnorhinus Cyanocitta Aphelocoma Cyanocorax Garrulus Cissa Perisoreus Urocissa Cyanopica Dendrocitta Crypsirina Pica Zavattariornis Podoces Nucifraga Pyrrhocorax Ptilostomus Corvus The crow family (Corvidae) has members that are above average in size for the bird order Passeriformes; in fact, it includes several that are among the largest. ... Species See text Many large black birds of the genus Corvus are called ravens. ... Species See text The true crows are in the genus Corvus; they are large Passerine birds. ... Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 The Horse (Equus caballus) is a sizeable ungulate mammal, one of the seven modern species of the genus Equus. ...

Plant intelligence

Whether plants have intelligence in any sense humans can recognise is debatable; indeed, some victims of brain damage are often described as being in a 'persistive vegetative state'. Divisions Land plants (embryophytes) Non-vascular plants (bryophytes) Marchantiophyta - liverworts Anthocerotophyta - hornworts Bryophyta - mosses Vascular plants (tracheophytes) Lycopodiophyta - clubmosses Equisetophyta - horsetails Pteridophyta - true ferns Psilotophyta - whisk ferns Ophioglossophyta - adderstongues Seed plants (spermatophytes) †Pteridospermatophyta - seed ferns Pinophyta - conifers Cycadophyta - cycads Ginkgophyta - ginkgo Gnetophyta - gnetae Magnoliophyta - flowering plants Adiantum pedatum (a... Brain damage or brain injury is the destruction or degeneration of brain cells. ...


See also

The level of intelligence in birds, as a scientific inquiry, has not been as thoroughly researched as similar questions regarding primates and other mammals. ... Dogs can be trained to retrieve Dog intelligence is the ability of a dog to learn, to think, and to solve problems. ... Knowledge about cognitive capabilities of the dolphin brain (and its related issue: the nature and magnitude of dolphin intelligence) is still limited. ...

External links

  • Animals and other living things: their interests, mental capacities and moral entitlements
  • Taking Animals Seriously: Mental Life and Moral Status by David DeGrazia - A Review Essay

  Results from FactBites:
 
Animal intelligence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (714 words)
The term Animal intelligence is currently used in three distinct but overlapping ways: as a synonym for animal cognition, to pose the question “are animals intelligent?”, or to denote a discussion of relative levels of intelligence in different animal species.
But in any case, different animals (including humans) seem to have different kinds of cognitive processes, which are better understood in terms of the ways in which they are cognitively adapted to their different ecological niches, than by positing any kind of hierarchy.
Despite ambitious claims, evidence of unusually high human-like intelligence among cetaceans is patchy, partly because the cost and difficulty of carrying out research with marine mammals mean that experiments frequently suffer from small sample sizes and inadequate controls and replication.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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