[MARMAM] Abstracts - Aquatic Mammals, Vol 32(4), 2006, Special issue

Dagmar Fertl dfertl at geo-marine.com
Sun Mar 18 15:22:36 PDT 2007


Apologies in advance, to those of you on both listserves who will receive
cross-postings. The following are the contents and abstracts for the most
recent issue of _Aquatic Mammals_. This journal was established by the
European Association for Aquatic Mammals (EAAM) in 1974. The EAAM, European
Cetacean Society (ECS), and the Board of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks
and Aquariums sponsor the journal. 

_Aquatic Mammals_ accepts a wide variety of papers on the care,
conservation, medicine, and science of marine mammals.  Dr. Jeanette Thomas
of Western Illinois University is the editor and Dr. Kathleen Dudzinski of
Mystic Aquarium is the co-editor. Dr. Dan Odell recently joined the
publication’s editorial board. These abstracts are posted as a courtesy to
the Marmam editors and the sponsoring societies, as well as the managing
editor of _Aquatic Mammals_.

Subscription information can be found on the journal’s Web site, which is
at: http://www.wiu.edu/users/aquamamm/index/home.htm. For instructions to
authors, abstracts of previous issues, and publication fees, see the journal
website: EAAM (http://eaam.org) and ECS(www.broekemaweb.nl/ecs). 

The latest issue of _Aquatic Mammals_ is a special issue entitled:
Comparative Cognition: Insights and Innovations. It is guest edited by
Christine M. Johnson and Denise L. Herzing. This issue is a set of papers
based on the talks at a workshop held in conjunction with the last (2005)
Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, where set of
researchers doing experimental and observational work on primates,
cetaceans, and pinnipeds were gathered. The issue is divided into two parts.
Part I is a set of papers that review contemporary cognitive research on
primates and marine mammals. Part II includes papers that focus on
innovations, both methodological and theoretical, that have been undertaken
in the field of cognitive research.

Please do not contact me or the listserve editors for copies of the
articles.  Instead, please find the addresses of the authors to whom reprint
requests and other inquiries should be directed. When an email address was
provided with the article, I included it with the article. Thank you for
your continued interest in these postings, as well as other publication
postings to the listserves.

With regards,

Dagmar Fertl
Geo-Marine, Inc.
dfertl at geo-marine.com
http://www.geo-marine.com

****************************************************************************
Johnson, C.M.* and D.L. Herzing. 2006. Primate, cetacean, and pinniped
cognition compared: An introduction. Aquatic Mammals 32(4):409-412.

*Department of Cogntive Science, University of California at San Diego, La
Jolla, CA 92093-0515, USA (johnson at cogsci.ucsd.edu)

No abstract provided. These few pages serve to provide background for why
the issue was prepared, as well as its contents.
****************************************************************************
Part I: Insights into the processes of social cognition
*********************************************************
Kuczaj II, S.A.* and D.B. Yeater. 2006. Dolphin imitation: Who, what, when,
and why? Aquatic Mammals 32(4):413-422.

*University of Southern Mississippi, Department of Psychology, 118 College
Drive, #5025, Hattiesburg, MS 39406, USA (s.kuczaj at usm.edu)

The imitative ability of nonhuman animals has intrigued a number of scholars
and, in doing so, has generated a considerable amount of controversy.
Although it is clear that many species can learn via observational learning,
there is a lack of consensus concerning both what sorts of things can be
learned by watching others and what types of observational learning should
count as imitation. These disputes have led to disagreements about the
extent to which various nonhuman species engage in imitation, based in large
part on different definitions of imitation. An animal's imitative success
also depends on the context. For example, dolphins can be taught to imitate
on demand, and studies using such elicited imitation tasks have yielded
mixed results. Dolphins can imitate behaviors produced by other dolphins and
other animals (including humans) and are capable of deferred imitation. When
dolphins are asked to imitate, it seems easier for them to reproduce
familiar behaviors than novel ones. Adult dolphins appear to be more
successful than juveniles at imitating on demand; however, young dolphins
appear more likely than adults to spontaneously imitate behaviors. Young
dolphins frequently spontaneously imitate the play behaviors of their peers,
and sometimes acquire novel play behaviors in the process. Following Kuczaj
et al. (2005), we suggest that the distinction between elicited and
spontaneous imitation is important, and that understanding both types of
imitation is essential. In addition to learning more about the factors that
are influential when animals imitate, it is also imperative to understand
the types of models and behaviors that are most likely to be imitated, the
types of animals that are most likely to imitate others, and ontogenetic
changes that occur in imitation.
*************************************************************
Johnson, C.M.* and M.R. Karin-D'Arcy. 2006. Social attention in nonhuman
primates: A behavioral review. Aquatic Mammals 32(4):423-442.

Department of Cogntive Science, University of California at San Diego, La
Jolla, CA 92093-0515, USA (johnson at cogsci.ucsd.edu)

Social attention involves attention directed toward other individuals, as
well as the coordination of attention among individuals. This topic has been
the focus of much recent research with nonhuman primates. In this review, we
focus on the behavior of the participants in this research—both the animals
and the humans—rather than on its cognitive implications. After briefly
reviewing theoretical issues and the sensorimotor constraints on primate
attention, we describe the ethological and experimental work that has been
done. The former, involving observational studies in field and captive
settings, focuses on the functions of social attention and on differences in
traditional and contemporary micro-ethological techniques. The experimental
work is organized in terms of the types of social relationships—solicitous,
competitive, collaborative—that the various paradigms establish between
subjects or between subject and experimenter. These include co-orientation
(gaze-following) tasks, food-sharing tasks (such as conditional begging,
donor choice, and object choice tasks), conspecific competition (such as
occluder and informed leader tasks), and collaborative cue production (where
subjects must cue an ignorant experimenter). In all of these tasks, we
report the relative effectiveness of various attentional cues, including use
of the hands (e.g., touching, pointing) and orientation of the body, head,
and eyes. In our final discussion, we consider differences in focus in the
observational vs experimental approaches (on negotiating social
relationships vs access to food, respectively) and suggest ways in which the
methods in these two arenas might be successfully integrated. We also
discuss the advantages of considering the "ecology" of the laboratory
setting and how recognizing the social and perceptual configurations
established by different protocols can aid in their interpretation and
design. Finally, we discuss the prevalence of individual differences in this
research and how this underscores the importance of rearing history and
other contextual factors in primate social attention.
*********************************************
Pack, A.A.* and L.M. Herman. 2006. Dolphin social cognition and joint
attention:  Our current understanding. Aquatic Mammals 32:443-460.

*direct correspondence to: The Dolphin Institute, 420 Ward Avenue, Suite
212, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA (pack at hawaii.edu)

Recent intense interest in social cognition in dolphins reflects findings
that wild dolphins live in complex societies that rely on individual
recognition, a protracted period of development, coalition formation, and
cooperative, as well as competitive, social behaviors. Laboratory studies
have revealed a host of cognitive skills that can support such complex
behaviors—for example, broad imitative abilities, abilities to understand
another's indicative cues, and spontaneous use of pointing to communicate
with human companions. _Joint attention_ is recognized as a key element of
social cognition that extends from simply following another's gaze to using
pointing or gazing cues of another to select objects or locations. Studies
of bottlenose dolphins (_Tursiops truncatus_) have revealed that they
understand (1) human-given direct and cross-body points; (2) human-given
dynamic and static pointing and gazing cues within object-choice tasks; (3)
the geometry of pointing cues; (4) the referential character of pointing and
gazing cues; (5) sequences of direct and/or cross-body points that were
instructions to transport one object to another; (6) how to produce pointing
cues and the importance of audience attention; and (7) possibly the belief
state of another that is engaged in a joint attention task. The evidence
suggests that joint attention skills in dolphins are robust and to some
degree symmetric across comprehension and production. Comparative analyses
indicate that in some areas of joint attention, abilities of dolphins exceed
the demonstrated skills of apes. Possibly, a dolphin's capacity for joint
attention may be related to the adaptive benefits of being able to attend to
the focus of another dolphin's echolocation beam in conjunction with a
sophisticated social structure dependent on attention to others.
***************************************************
Deecke, V.B.* 2006. Studying marine mammal cognition in the wild: A review
of four decades of playback experiments. Aquatic Mammals 32(4):461-482.

*Marine Mammal Research Unit, Fisheries Centre, University of British
Columbia, 2202 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4 Canada
(deecke at zoology.ubc.ca)

The playback of sounds to animals to assess their behavioural responses
presents a powerful tool to study animal cognition in the wild. While
playbacks are commonly used to study acoustic responses in birds and other
terrestrial animals, their application to the study of marine mammal
cognition so far has been limited. A survey of the published literature on
field playback experiments with marine mammals identified 46 studies, with a
trend towards increased use of playback approaches in recent years. Field
playbacks to marine mammals have been used to address questions of wildlife
management, the impact of anthropogenic noise, acoustic interactions between
predators and prey, individual and kin recognition, as well as the function
of communicative sounds. This paper summarizes the major findings of marine
mammal playbacks to date and reviews recent advances in the design and
execution of playback experiments, with special reference to marine mammals.
Issues concerning appropriate presentation of acoustic stimuli, appropriate
quantification of behavioural responses, as well as appropriate control and
replication of treatments are discussed. An analysis of replication in
marine mammal playbacks showed that the use of a small number of playback
stimuli to conduct multiple playback trials (pseudoreplication) was common.
This overview of playback experiments in the study of marine mammal
cognition in the wild showed that such approaches contribute significantly
to the field; however, in many cases, there appears to be substantial room
for improvement of playback procedure and experimental design.
******************************************************
Lindemann, K.L.*, C. Reichmuth-Kastak, and R.J. Schusterman. 2006. The role
of learning in the production and comprehension of auditory signals by
pinnipeds. Aquatic Mammals 32(4):483-490.

*Department of Psychology, University of California-Santa Cruz, Social
Sciences 2, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA

The aim of this paper is to discuss the important role that behavioral
mechanisms, such as contingency learning and equivalence class formation,
play in the production and comprehension of auditory signals in the context
of mammalian social communication. Observations and experiments on vocal
communication in mammals have often emphasized the importance of learning
either from the perspective of the signaler or from the perspective of the
receiver. It is our goal to discuss the roles and potential mechanisms of
learning on both sides of communication. While marine mammals are notable in
their capacity for complex learning in their vocal communication, until now,
the major emphasis has been on the study of cetaceans. In the current paper,
we focus primarily on the pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses) as a
source for insight into how the learned aspects of auditory signaling and
receiving may be acquired. We find that the results from carefully designed
laboratory experiments can aid in the interpretation of field observations
of communicative behavior. The complementary use of both of these approaches
improves our understanding of the cognitive operations being carried out by
animals in their natural environment.
**********************************************************************
Part II - Innovative approaches in potential tools and techniques for
measuring social cognition
**********************************************************************
Flemming, T.M., M.J. Rattermann, and R.K.R. Thompson*. 2006. Differential
individual access to and use of reaching tools in social groups of capuchin
monkeys (_Cebus paella_) and human infants (_Homo sapiens_) Aquatic Mammals
32(4):491-499.

*Department of Psychology, Franklin & Marshall College, P.O. Box 3003,
Lancaster, PA 17604-3003, USA (Roger.Thompson at fandm.edu)

The focus of much of comparative and developmental cognition has been on the
individual as a solitary being whose behavior is isolated from the influence
of social relationships. We report here results on access to and use of
reaching tools by group-housed capuchin monkeys (_Cebus paella_) and a
cohort of human infants in a daycare setting. In both cases, a given
individual's—monkey or child—access to their respective tools differed as a
function of his or her social rank, but the probability of successful use of
a tool by an individual did not. These results demonstrate that member- ship
in a group may not only facilitate an individual's opportunity to discover
the functional affordances of its physical environment but also inhibit its
opportunities to express that knowledge.
*********************************************************
Russon, A.E.* 2006. Acquisition of complex foraging skills in juvenile and
adolescent orangutans (_Pongo pygmaeus_): Developmental influences. Aquatic
Mammals 32(4):500-510.

*Psychology Department, Glendon College of York University, 2275 Bayview
Avenue, Toronto M4N 3M6, Canada (arusson at gl.yorku.ca)

Research on primate cognition has spurred interest in developmental
influences on skill acquisition, especially complex foraging skills in great
apes and specifically as they relate to species' life history strategies.
Survival skills are often mastered to functional levels near the onset of
juvenility, for instance, this is when immatures are weaned and assume
semi-independent lives. Several complications merit consideration: primate
learning is lifelong; learners' situations change well beyond weaning; and
individual tasks can vary such that they create rich problem spaces,
mastering which entails acquiring and coordinating multifaceted skill sets.
Accordingly, while skills may reach functional levels by weaning, they may
be refined later. Juveniles, adolescents, and young adults, in particular,
should generate such refinements given the developmental changes they
experience in learning needs and opportunities, physical and cognitive
abilities, and sociality. To assess acquisition beyond weaning, this study
tracked the acquisition of foraging skills for extracting heart from a tree
palm (_Borassodendron borneensis_) in juvenile and adolescent rehabilitant
orangutans. Findings represent 744 cases of palm heart extraction, 31
rehabilitants ranging in age from older infants to young adults, and two
forests in Indonesian Borneo. Data were collected observationally over 9 y
and include partial longitudinal data for 14 rehabilitants. Results
highlight the importance of fine-grained assessments of both behavior and
problem space in understanding developmental influences on the acquisition
of sophisticated foraging skills in great apes. Implications for the study
of cetacean cognition are suggested.
************************************************************
Fellner, W.*, G.B. Bauer, and H.E. Harley. 2006. Cognitive implications of
synchrony in dolphins: A review. Aquatic Mammals 32(4):511-516.

*The Living Seas, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL
32830, USA

Synchronous behaviors by dolphins in the wild are noted repeatedly. Recent
fine-tuned assessments in the laboratory of the development of synchrony in
newborn calves vis-à-vis their mothers highlight the strong predisposition
of mother-calf pairs to spend most of their time behaving synchronously.
Because dolphin calves apparently move continuously for the first month of
their lives and stop comparatively infrequently for the first three months,
the substantial energetic benefit they gain through slipstreaming may
provide a mandate for mother-calf synchrony in terms of calf survival. We
speculate that this constant intimate contact may lead to a succession of
developmental stages in the calf that proceed from passive to active
maintenance of synchrony and ultimately to imitation. This progression may
explain shared within-group behaviors like mud-bank fishing, sponging, and
herding.

**********************************************************
Delfour, F.* 2006. Marine mammals in front of the mirror—body experiences to
self-recognition: A cognitive ethological methodology combined with
phenomenological questioning. Aquatic Mammals 32(4):517-527.

*Department of Liege, Department of Arts et Sciences de la Communication,
Belgium

Applying a systems perspective to both social complexity and cognition in
primates critically addresses the Social Function of Intellect hypothesis
formally proposed by Humphrey (1976). A systems approach to social
complexity (Hinde, 1987) entails framing social dynamics hierarchically from
individuals, through interactions, to relationships and group structure,
empirically building up from interaction data. A systems perspective on
cognition (Hutchins, 1995) entails identification of a cognitive unit of
analysis that is inclusive of the participants and other elements that
affect a regularly observed outcome. This system is then studied as a
process. We sketch a methodological framework using two data sets from a
field study of Olive baboons (_Papio anubis_) in Kenya. The first data set,
on 2,913 male-female-infant (MFI) triadic interactions, was employed mainly
to illustrate applying a systems approach to social complexity. The second
data set, on 180 sexual consort turnover (CTO) events, illustrates the use
of a systems approach to study cognition. Adding dynamics changes the
understanding of trends and the detection of the sources of variance in
social interaction data. The MFI analysis included a multilayered
visualization that shows group effects while maintaining the richness of an
individual's contribution. The CTO analysis showed how researchers can shift
from looking at outcome (performance) to process (profiles of
participation), which has much more relevance to the nature and development
of cognition. A single CTO event captured on video provides an example of
microanalysis at high temporal resolution (0.1 s) as well as the conferred
advantage in shifting from discrete to continuous descriptions of behavior.
Relations between system states and dynamics of individual elements can thus
be systematically examined. The combined analyses suggest a flexible toolkit
for addressing complex behavioral phenomena that can easily be extended to
the study of other contexts and other species.
**************************************************************
Forster, D.* and P.F. Rodriguez. 2006. Social complexity and distributed
cognition in olive baboons (_Papio anubis_): Adding system dynamics to
analysis of interaction data. Aquatic Mammals 32(4):528-543.

*MOBU Research, Inc., 3757 ½ 7th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92013, USA
(forstermobu at gmail.com)

Applying a systems perspective to both social complexity and cognition in
primates critically addresses the Social Function of Intellect hypothesis
formally proposed by Humphrey (1976). A systems approach to social
complexity (Hinde, 1987) entails framing social dynamics hierarchically from
individuals, through interactions, to relationships and group structure,
empirically building up from interaction data. A systems perspective on
cognition (Hutchins, 1995) entails identification of a cognitive unit of
analysis that is inclusive of the participants and other elements that
affect a regularly observed outcome. This system is then studied as a
process. We sketch a methodological framework using two data sets from a
field study of Olive baboons (_Papio anubis_) in Kenya. The first data set,
on 2,913 male-female-infant (MFI) triadic interactions, was employed mainly
to illustrate applying a systems approach to social complexity. The second
data set, on 180 sexual consort turnover (CTO) events, illustrates the use
of a systems approach to study cognition. Adding dynamics changes the
understanding of trends and the detection of the sources of variance in
social interaction data. The MFI analysis included a multilayered
visualization that shows group effects while maintaining the richness of an
individual's contribution. The CTO analysis showed how researchers can shift
from looking at outcome (performance) to process (profiles of
participation), which has much more relevance to the nature and development
of cognition. A single CTO event captured on video provides an example of
microanalysis at high temporal resolution (0.1 s) as well as the conferred
advantage in shifting from discrete to continuous descriptions of behavior.
Relations between system states and dynamics of individual elements can thus
be systematically examined. The combined analyses suggest a flexible toolkit
for addressing complex behavioral phenomena that can easily be extended to
the study of other contexts and other species.
*******************************************************
Herzing, D.L.* 2006. The currency of cognition: Assessing tools, techniques,
and
media for complex behavioral analysis. Aquatic Mammals 32(4):544-553.

*Research Director, Wild Dolphin Project, P.O. Box 8436, Jupiter, FL 33468,
USA (wdpdenise at earthlink.net)

Since 1985, long-term underwater observations of 220 Atlantic spotted
dolphins (_Stenella frontalis_) and 200 bottlenose dolphins (_Tursiops
truncatus_), have provided a unique opportunity to observe the flow of
information within and between these societies in the clear waters of the
Bahamas. Spotted dolphins are of known gender, relationships (mother/calf,
siblings), and association patterns, thus providing a rich social
relationship framework. In addition, human researchers enter into
interactions with dolphins, providing flow of information between humans and
these two delphinid species. Underwater video with hydrophone input has been
used to capture contextually sensitive information, including associated
vocalizations and behaviors (e.g., foraging, aggression, courtship, and
discipline) with known individuals. These specific actions (e.g., gestures,
vocalizations, gaze, body/head orientation, etc.) represent the potential
media of information, or currency of cognition, available to dolphins. Such
media are real-world, observable, and measurable signals through detailed
behavioral analysis (i.e., Micro-ethology). By measuring this flow of
information in context, in real-time interactions, and through changes over
time, we may be able to assess the potential for distributed cognition in
this social species. Issues such as gender, age, social relations, and
developmental aspects will be brought into context for applying distributed
cognition analysis techniques to dolphins in ecologically valid ways.
**********************************************************************
Herzing, D.L.* and C.M. Johnson. 2006. Conclusions and possibilities of new
frameworks and techniques for research on marine mammal cognition. Aquatic
Mammals 32(4):554-557.

*Research Director, Wild Dolphin Project, P.O. Box 8436, Jupiter, FL 33468,
USA (wdpdenise at earthlink.net)

No abstract provided. This article summarized the theme of the workshop by
reviewing some main points of concern that emerged during the process that
are important to continue exploration of marine mammal cognition: (1) field,
observation, and laboratory work; (2) development issues; (3) individual
differences; (4) statistics and normalization; (5) temporal issues; (6)
sensory umwelt, behavioral context, and ecological validity; (7) cross-taxa
issues; (8) expanding beyond cetaceans; and (9) archiving and accessing.






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