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APSC 5264: Animal Cognition

Concentration: Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare
Credits: 3 graduate credit(s)


Central concepts, methodological approaches, controversies, and themes in the field of comparative animal cognition. Application of the scientific method to questions of animal cognition. Animal cognition that informs broader questions about the evolution of the brain and behavior.

Learning Objectives

Having successfully completed this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Illustrate examples of cognitive ecology, cognitive neuroscience, and comparative psychology utilizing primary source literature;
  2. Analyze the evolution of cognition with examples from social intelligence, communication, tool use, teaching in animals; 
  3. Compare and contrast the approaches to the study of cognition that have been developed through different subfields, including ecology, evolution, behavioral ecology, psychology, and neuroscience;
  4. Evaluate research hypotheses, predictions, experimental approaches, and conclusions drawn by other researchers based on their own evaluation of the research;
  5. Justify research objectives and hypotheses in need of study in the field of animal cognition;
  6. Design experimental studies in animal cognition to address core research questions in the field.

Prerequisites and Corequisites

Graduate Standing


Kendra Sewell