Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Imaginative scrub-jays, causal rooks, and a liberal application of Occam's aftershave

Nathan J. Emerya1 and Nicola S. Claytona2

a1 School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary College, University of London, London, E1 4NS, United Kingdom

a2 Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 3EB, United Kingdom. n.j.emery@qmul.ac.uk http://www.sbcs.qmul.ac.uk/people/nathan_emery.shtml nsc22@cam.ac.uk www.psychol.cam.ac.uk/pages/staffweb/clayton/

Abstract

We address the claim that nonhuman animals do not represent unobservable states, based on studies of physical cognition by rooks and social cognition by scrub-jays. In both cases, the most parsimonious explanation for the results is counter to the reinterpretation hypothesis. We suggest that imagination and prospection can be investigated in animals and included in models of cognitive architecture.

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