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Instructions are attached  · Respond to at least two (2) peers with 100 words as the minimum peer response · APA

Instructions are attached 

Respond to at least two (2) peers with 100 words as the minimum peer response

APA format in-text citations and references

Peer1: Panadda

Bouton (2018) highlighted that one of the most important things about the study of animal brains is the implication that behavior systems theory and how much the nature of behavior stems from conditioning methods (Bouton, 2018). Evolution is essential when it comes to survival. However, various species adapt and evolve differently based on their needs and living environment. Humans have learned and adopted so much from animals. From studying night vision in different animals to studying how hummingbirds can fly backwards and hover in place, animals have influenced the modern world for decades. Seijian et al. (2018) explained the adaptation of animals to heat stress. Heat stress was found to be a major factor that negatively influenced livestock production. To ensure survival, the livestock must be genetically suitable and be able to adapt in different environments. Livestock have adapted by altering their phenotypic and physiological characteristics (Seijian et al., 2018).

Salwiczek et al. (2012) discussed the cognitive abilities in animals that are linked to evolution. The results of this study showed that some animals adapted significantly better than others. Some fish exhibit impressive and complex social strategies. The adult cleaner wrasse showed high levels of adaptation, were overall fast learners, with optimal foraging decisions. This resulted in completing the task at hand faster. One of the main purposes of this study was to observe and examine the ecological approach and see what the role of cognition is. Although human and animal brains are different, there are some similarities as well. Overall, animals adapt much faster to their changing environments while humans gradually adapt and evolve over longer periods of time. As a result, I think animals, especially out in the wild, adapt much faster and more effectively than humans.


Bouton, M. E. (2018).
Learning and behavior: A contemporary synthesis (2nd ed.). Sinauer Associates.

Salwiczek, L. H., Prétôt, L., Demarta, L., Pinto, A. I., Wismer, S., Bshary, R., Proctor, D., Essler, J., Brosnan, S. F., & Stoinski, T. (2012). Adult Cleaner Wrasse Outperform Capuchin Monkeys, Chimpanzees and Orang-utans in a Complex Foraging Task Derived from Cleaner – Client Reef Fish Cooperation.

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Sejian, V., Bhatta, R., Gaughan, J. B., Dunshea, F. R., & Lacetera, N. (2018). Review: Adaptation of animals to heat stress.
12(Supplement 2), s431–s444.

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Peer 2: Barbara

Animal studies have long been the foundation of cognitive science in understanding how the process of human learning occurs. This view assumes that by studying how other animals learn and solve problems, we can understand human cognition. While this process has produced crucial findings, it is important to recognize that the brains of varied species have evolved individualistically to address specific environmental challenges. Consequently, animals like octopuses or dolphins may excel in particular problem-solving tasks due to specialized adaptations that humans do not have. This raises important questions about the limitations and potential of using animal models to infer human learning mechanisms. Having this understanding prompts a deeper examination of the scope that animal cognition can be applied to humans. Exploring the problem-solving abilities of various species, we can discover different learning strategies that may not be clear from studying humans alone.

According to Salwiczek et al. (2012), it is evident that specific cognitive abilities, sharpened by evolutionary pressures, can sometimes excel human capabilities. (Salwiczek et al., 2012). For example, consider a real-life example: dolphins, who are trained for search and rescue operations. According to Pack & Herman (2004), Dolphins use their sophisticated echolocation to detect underwater mines or find missing persons, using their specialized sensory abilities to perform tasks humans cannot do alone (Pack & Herman, 2004). This application shows that by harnessing and understanding the individual capabilities of other species, there exists the possibility of developing solutions that significantly add to human life. Studying animal cognition in the event of their specialized abilities not only enriches our knowledge of learning but also motivates innovative approaches to problem-solving in human contexts. This specialization underlines the fact that as humans we are more intelligent, other species may show superior problem-solving skills in specific areas. Such evolutionary adaptations provide a distinctive lens through which we can investigate various learning strategies.

To further understand this concept, according to Zylinski & How (2012) various species such as octopuses show extraordinary problem-solving abilities. Octopuses can navigate mazes, open jars, and use tools, displaying advanced cognitive skills shaped by their distinctive neurological structure (Zylinski & How, 2012). These behaviors, driven by their decentralized nervous system, provide support that these cephalopods allow for advanced and flexible behaviors that could influence new computational models and learning algorithms in artificial intelligence challenge our understanding of intelligence and learning, offering an evident contrast to mammalian models. Research conducted by Kuba et al. (2010) further provides evidence that octopuses can engage in observational learning, suggesting a level of cognitive processing that may align more with complex vertebrates. (Kuba et al., 2010). By studying these mechanisms, we can uncover alternative learning strategies that could be applied to artificial intelligence and robotics, where decentralized control systems might mimic octopus problem-solving.

Examining these views, I support the concept that researchers should expand their scope to include species with unique adaptations. According to Emery & Clayton (2004), understanding other species with various abilities that show remarkable cognitive abilities despite having different brain structures than humans, provides insight into intelligence and innovation in unpredictable environments (Emery & Clayton, 2004). However, there are arguments against the direct applicability of animal studies to human cognition. For instance, Salwiczek et al. (2012) found that while certain fish can outperform primates in specific tasks, these tasks are highly context-dependent and may not translate well to human learning environments. This proposes that, while animal studies offer valuable information, they must be interpreted with caution when applied to human contexts.

In closing, while human brains are uniquely different from those of other animals, studying specialized problem-solving abilities in species like octopuses and dolphins can provide individual learning strategies and inspire practical solutions. The work of Salwiczek et al. (2012) demonstrates this potential, suggesting an expanded and more inclusive approach to cognitive research. The studies conducted by Zylinski and How (2012) and Emery and Clayton (2004) further support the idea that various species can offer important insight into the nature of learning, challenging us to rethink traditional models and implement a more comprehensive understanding of cognition.

Emery, N. J., & Clayton, N. S. (2004). The mentality of crows: Convergent evolution of intelligence in corvids and apes. *Science*, 306(5703), 1903-1907.

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Kuba, M. J., Byrne, R. A., Meisel, D. V., Griebel, U., & Mather, J. A. (2010). When do octopuses play? Effects of repeated testing, object type, age, and food deprivation on object play in *Octopus vulgaris*. *Journal of Comparative Psychology*, 124(3), 257-266.

Pack, A. A., & Herman, L. M. (2004). Dolphin social cognition and joint attention: Our current understanding. *Aquatic Mammals*, 30(3), 433-442.

Links to an external site.

Salwiczek, L. H., Prétôt, L., Demarta, L., Proctor, D., Essler, J., Pinto, A. I., … & Bshary, R. (2012). Adult cleaner wrasse outperforms capuchin monkeys, chimpanzees, and orangutans in a complex foraging task derived from cleaner–client reef fish cooperation. *PLoS One*, 7(11), e49068.

Links to an external site.

Zylinski, S., & How, M. J. (2012). The function of the octopus in its environment. *Current Biology*, 22(23), R887-R888.

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