Questions concerning the role of nature and nurture in higher cognition appear to be intractable if one restricts one’s attention to development in humans. However, in other domains, such as sensory development, much information has been gained from controlled rearing studies with animals. Here, we used a similar experimental strategy to investigate intuitive reasoning about occluded objects. Newborn domestic chicks (Gallus gallus) were reared singly with a small object that became their social partner. They were then accustomed to rejoin such an imprinting object when it was made to move and disappear behind either one of two identical opaque screens. After disappearance of the imprinting object, chicks were faced with two screens of different slants, or of different height or different width, which may or may not have been compatible with the presence of the imprinting object hidden beneath/behind them. Chicks consistently chose the screen of slant/height/width compatible with the presence of the object beneath/behind it. Preventing chicks from touching and pecking at the imprinting object before testing did not affect the results, suggesting that intuitive reasoning about physical objects is largely independent of specific experience of interaction with objects and of objects’ occluding events.

Intuitive physical reasoning about occluded objects by inexperienced chicks

CHIANDETTI, CINZIA;
2011

Abstract

Questions concerning the role of nature and nurture in higher cognition appear to be intractable if one restricts one’s attention to development in humans. However, in other domains, such as sensory development, much information has been gained from controlled rearing studies with animals. Here, we used a similar experimental strategy to investigate intuitive reasoning about occluded objects. Newborn domestic chicks (Gallus gallus) were reared singly with a small object that became their social partner. They were then accustomed to rejoin such an imprinting object when it was made to move and disappear behind either one of two identical opaque screens. After disappearance of the imprinting object, chicks were faced with two screens of different slants, or of different height or different width, which may or may not have been compatible with the presence of the imprinting object hidden beneath/behind them. Chicks consistently chose the screen of slant/height/width compatible with the presence of the object beneath/behind it. Preventing chicks from touching and pecking at the imprinting object before testing did not affect the results, suggesting that intuitive reasoning about physical objects is largely independent of specific experience of interaction with objects and of objects’ occluding events.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2781133
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