Comparative cognition for conservationists
Greggor, Alison L.
Clayton, Nicola S.
Trends in Ecology and Evolution
Creative Commons license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
Every animal occupies a unique cognitive world based on its sensory capacities, and attentional and learning biases. Behaviour results from the interaction of this cognitive world with the environment. As humans alter environments, cognitive processes ranging from perceptual processes to learned behaviour govern animals' reactions. By harnessing animals' perceptual biases and applying insights from cognitive theory, we can purposefully alter cues to reduce maladaptive responses and shape behaviour. Despite the fundamental connection between cognition and behaviour, the breadth of cognitive theory is underutilised in conservation practice. Bridging these disciplines could augment existing conservation efforts targeting animal behaviour. We outline relevant principles of perception and learning, and develop a step-by-step process for applying aspects of cognition towards specific conservation issues.
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) David Phillips Fellowship
Zukerman Research Fellowship
Open Access article under a Creative Commons license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
Vol. 29 (9), pp. 489 - 495
Place of publication