The young of the domestic fowl has traditionally proven excellent material for the study of early learning (e.g., imprinting) and memory consolidation (e.g., passive avoidance learning) and their neurobiological bases. Recently, the advantages associated with accurate control of specific sensory experiences (both in ovo and after hatching) favoured the use of the domestic chicks for control-rearing studies of predispositions to social behaviour (such as preferences for face-like, biological motion and other animacy cues). The techniques developed for investigations of non-learned predispositions to attend animacy cues parallel similar techniques and analyses carried out with human newborns and infants. Furthermore, behavioural methods have been developed that combine imprinting and/or spontaneous preferences associated with imprinting with more traditional associative learning to investigate core knowledge mechanisms such as number, space and object representations. Finally, a range of laboratory and semi-naturalistic techniques are available to study brain asymmetry in the chick, and the role played by sensory stimulation in embryo in the establishment of functional lateralization. Overall, these behavioural methods complement studies carried out with mammalian models and offer unique advantage in terms of control of experience and investigation of the potentiality and limitation of neopallial structures (those of the non-laminated “cortex” of birds) in comparison with the laminated cortex of the mammalian brain.

Chicken: Cognition in the poultry yard

Cinzia Chiandetti
;
Giorgio Vallortigara
2018

Abstract

The young of the domestic fowl has traditionally proven excellent material for the study of early learning (e.g., imprinting) and memory consolidation (e.g., passive avoidance learning) and their neurobiological bases. Recently, the advantages associated with accurate control of specific sensory experiences (both in ovo and after hatching) favoured the use of the domestic chicks for control-rearing studies of predispositions to social behaviour (such as preferences for face-like, biological motion and other animacy cues). The techniques developed for investigations of non-learned predispositions to attend animacy cues parallel similar techniques and analyses carried out with human newborns and infants. Furthermore, behavioural methods have been developed that combine imprinting and/or spontaneous preferences associated with imprinting with more traditional associative learning to investigate core knowledge mechanisms such as number, space and object representations. Finally, a range of laboratory and semi-naturalistic techniques are available to study brain asymmetry in the chick, and the role played by sensory stimulation in embryo in the establishment of functional lateralization. Overall, these behavioural methods complement studies carried out with mammalian models and offer unique advantage in terms of control of experience and investigation of the potentiality and limitation of neopallial structures (those of the non-laminated “cortex” of birds) in comparison with the laminated cortex of the mammalian brain.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2942168
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