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Reflections of the social environment in chimpanzee memory: applying rational analysis beyond humans

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

In cognitive science, the rational analysis framework allowsmodelling of how physical and social environments imposeinformation-processing demands onto cognitive systems. Inhumans, for example, past social contact among individualspredicts their future contact with linear and power functions.These features of the human environment constrain theoptimal way to remember information and probably shapehow memory records are retained and retrieved. We offera primer on how biologists can apply rational analysis tostudy animal behaviour. Using chimpanzees ( Pan troglodytes )as a case study, we modelled 19 years of observationaldata on their social contact patterns. Much like humans,the frequency of past encounters in chimpanzees linearlypredictedfutureencounters,andtherecencyofpastencounterspredicted future encounters with a power function. Consistentwith the rational analyses carried out for human memory,these findings suggest that chimpanzee memory performanceshould reflect those environmental regularities. In re-analysingexisting chimpanzee memory data, we found that chimpanzeememory patterns mirrored their social contact patterns. Ourfindings hint that human and chimpanzee memory systemsmay have evolved to solve similar information-processingproblems. Overall, rational analysis offers novel theoreticaland methodological avenues for the comparative studyof cognition



Time is real? I think not

ottobre: 2016
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