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Cognitive Ecology

The Evolutionary Ecology of Information Processing and Decision Making

Cognitive Ecology

The Evolutionary Ecology of Information Processing and Decision Making

How does the environment shape the ways an animal processes information and makes decisions? How do constraints imposed on nervous systems affect an animal’s activities? To help answer these questions, Cognitive Ecology integrates evolutionary ecology and cognitive science, demonstrating how studies of perception, memory, and learning can deepen our understanding of animal behavior and ecology.

Individual chapters consider such issues as the evolution of learning and its influence on behavior; the effects of cognitive mechanisms on the evolution of signaling behavior; how neurobiological and evolutionary processes have shaped navigational activities; functional and mechanical explanations for altered behaviors in response to changing environments; how foragers make decisions and how these decisions are influenced by the risks of predation; and how cognitive mechanisms affect partner choice.

Cognitive Ecology will encourage biologists to consider how animal cognition affects behavior, and will also interest comparative psychologists and cognitive scientists.

More detailed information about Cognitve Ecology is available on Reuven Dukas’s homepage.


430 pages | 97 line drawings, 2 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1998

Biological Sciences: Behavioral Biology, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
Reuven Dukas
2. Neural representation and the evolution of signal form
Magnus Enquist and Anthony Arak
3. Constraints on information processing and their effects on behavior
Reuven Dukas
4. Evolutionary ecology of learning
Reuven Dukas
5. The cognitive ecology of song communication and song learning in the song sparrow
Michael D. Beecher, S. Elizabeth Campbell & J. Cully Nordby
6. Cognitive ecology of navigation
Fred Dyer
7. The ecology and neurobiology of spatial memory
David .F. Sherry
8. Risk-sensitive foraging: decision-making in variable environments.
Melissa Bateson and Alex Kacelnik
9. Behavioral decisions about foraging and predator avoidance
Ronald C. Ydenberg
10. Evolutionary ecology of partner choice
Lee A. Dugatkin & Andrew Sih
11. Cognitive ecology: prospects
Reuven Dukas

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