What are some examples of possible self-awareness in animals?

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  • What is the difference between communication and language?
  • Do you think non-human animals have language? Why or why not?

 

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1.       What is self-awareness?

                                                              a.      Why is it so difficult to study in animals?
                                                              b.      What are some examples of possible self-awareness in animals?
                                                              c.      What do you make of this evidence? Could this construct have similar problems as intelligence with respect to comparing humans to non-human animals? In other words, would (do) Budiansky (and others) have a similar critique of how we study self-awareness in animals?
 
2.       What is the theory of mind?
                                                             a.      How have researchers tried to test whether animals have the theory of mind?
                                                             b.      What are some results of these studies?
                                                             c.      What are some of the problems with (or limitations of) these studies?
 
3.       Much of what humans and non-human animals learn happens as a result of a social interaction.
                                                             a.      What is the difference between imitation and emulation?
                                                             b.      Give a detailed and specific example of each.
                                                             c.      How can we tell the difference between the two?
                                                             d.      Discuss at least two examples of non-human animals teaching each other.Do you think teaching requires the theory of mind? Why or why not?
 
4.       Communication is vital to all animal species, even solitary ones. What makes the study of vervet monkey                        communication discussed on pp. 268 & 269 important to understanding animal communication?
 
5.       What is the difference between communication and language? Do you think non-human animals have language? Why or why not?
 
6.       The film Ravens and the chapter on raven intelligence by Heinrich address the intelligence of ravens.
                                                             a.      How did Heinrich test raven intelligence? What did his experiments show? Are there aspects of intelligence not addressed by his experiments?
                                                             b.      What did the documentary say about the social cognition of ravens?
 

Read/watch the following readings and videos and use them to answer the above questions.

Readings:
1.       Wynne & Udell (2013), chapters 8, 9, 11, & 12
2.       Heinrich, B. (2000). Mind of the raven (chapter 26, pp. 312- 324). New York, NY: Harper Collins. Heinrich’s research on Ravens is discussed in the documentary about ravens. In this chapter, you find out more about his experiments.
Videos (youtube) :
1.       NOVA Science NOW: What are animals thinking?
2.       NOVA Inside Animal Minds: Episode 3 (Who is the smartest?)
3.       Nature: Ravens

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