Dog Behaviour, Evolution, and Cognition (Oxford Biology) by Adam Miklosi

By Adam Miklosi

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Extra resources for Dog Behaviour, Evolution, and Cognition (Oxford Biology)

Example text

In the case of the latter, elementary units that correspond to certain aspects of the environment are often referred to as representations. The nature of such representations can be different; they can refer either to physical entities in the environment, to events or to relations between them. g. win-stay or win-shift). The main task of the action system is to organize the behavioural action by the means of elementary units emerging in the two-dimensional space determined by genetic and environmental interaction (behavioural schemas).

179). Dogs were tested in three different trials, when no food was hidden or when the owner was either present or absent during the observation. Since dogs were accustomed before the experiment to receive food in the living room from places to which they had not had prior access, we assumed the actual tests did not interfere with the everyday life of the dogs. In some cases it might be necessary to investigate dogs under artificial conditions, but this is not the realstrength of working with dogs.

G. rats and mice) researchers speak of behavioural phenotyping, which means that a particular genetically homozygous strain will be characterized in a limited number of behavioural tests. Unfortunately, even in such cases the task is very difficult because of the many uncontrolled environmental variables. Thus it seems quite illusory to talk about a similar possibility in dogs. In spite of this it seems worthwhile to identify and describe those genetic and environmental variables which affect behaviour, and which should be taken into account in the planning of behavioural observations and experiments.

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