Can Rhesus Monkeys Discriminate Between Remembering and Forgetting?

Robert R. Hampton

in The Missing Link in Cognition

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780195161564
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848386 | DOI:
Can Rhesus Monkeys Discriminate Between Remembering and Forgetting?

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The chapter presents evidence for metacognitive abilities of monkeys and dolphins from experiments on discrimination learning in which they could respond yes, no, or uncertain. There has been considerable controversy as to whether an uncertainty response is really the same as Cartesian “doubt.” Smith was the first researcher to systematically investigate metacognition in animals, and his and his colleagues' provocative experiments remain seminal in this endeavor. Humans can often respond intelligently in difficult situations by pausing, reflecting, and seeking help, hints, or information. These states of feeling and knowing and these adoptive coping responses anchor the extensive literatures on metacognition. There are structural similarities in the information-processing situations that humans and animals face. Animals will encounter difficult situations in which their well-learned associations and automatic behavioral patterns cannot help them. Animals have faced the same immediate need to rethink their situation in many comparative paradigms.

Keywords: metacognitive abilities; discrimination learning; Cartesian; comparative paradigms; metacognition

Chapter.  9622 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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