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Insights from matched species comparisons for understanding cognition in the wild

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Francesca De Petrillo



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Studies of cognition in the wild are crucial for understanding cognition in natural contexts, but studies of animal cognition in captive populations, living in conditions resembling those of their natural environment, complement this approach and provide new insights into the evolution of cognition. To show how these approaches can work in tandem, we use data from recent comparisons on cognition across different primate species in similar settings. We discuss how this work can disentangle stable species-specific differences in cognition from local environmental effects, distinguish specific cognitive mechanisms supporting behavior, and reveal hidden variables that shape cognition in captivity and the wild. Integration of research in both captive and wild settings will therefore provide a holistic understanding of the origins and function of different cognitive processes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): De Petrillo F, Bettle R, Rosati AG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences

Year: 2022

Volume: 45

Online publication date: 26/04/2022

Acceptance date: 21/03/2022

Date deposited: 08/06/2022

ISSN (electronic): 2352-1546

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.cobeha.2022.101134


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