Article

Social Learning in RatsHistorical Context and Experimental Findings

Bennett G. Galef

in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Cognition

Second edition

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780195392661
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195392661.013.0040

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Social Learning in RatsHistorical Context and Experimental Findings

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This chapter reviews studies undertaken to understand how young Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) use information acquired from others of their species to learn where and what to eat. The robust laboratory paradigms developed for studying social learning about foods in rats have proven useful in asking a number of kinds of questions about the development, function, and causation of behavior. Consequently, the results of this work have provided useful information not only about the role of social learning in behavioral development, but also concerning the nature of traditions in animals, the adequacy of formal mathematical models to predict behavior, the adaptive specialization of learning, and the success of Norway rats as human commensals.

Keywords: Norway rats; food choice; social learning

Article.  11209 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

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