Comparative psychology

Some investigators have argued that emotions, especially animal emotions, are illusory concepts outside the realm of scientific inquiry. However, with advances in neurobiology and neuroscience, researchers are demonstrating that this position is wrong as they move closer to a lasting understanding of the biology and psychology of emotion. In Affective Neuroscience, Jaak Panksepp provides the most up-to-date information about the brain-operating systems that organize the fundamental emotional tendencies of all mammals. Presenting complex material in a readable manner, the book offers a comprehensive summary of the fundamental neural sources of human and animal feelings, as well as a conceptual framework for studying emotional systems of the brain. Panksepp approaches emotions from the perspective of basic emotion theory but does not fail to address the complex issues raised by constructionist approaches. These issues include relations to human consciousness and the psychiatric implications of this knowledge. The book includes chapters on sleep and arousal, pleasure and fear systems, the sources of rage and anger, and the neural control of sexuality, as well as the more subtle emotions related to maternal care, social loss, and playfulness. Representing a synthetic integration of vast amounts of neurobehavioral knowledge, including relevant neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neurochemistry, this book will be one of the most important contributions to understanding the biology of emotions since Darwins The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals
There exists an undeniable chasm between the capacities of humans and those of animals. Our minds have spawned civilizations and technologies that have changed the face of the Earth, whereas even our closest animal relatives sit unobtrusively in their dwindling habitats. Yet despite longstanding debates, the nature of this apparent gap has remained unclear. What exactly is the difference between our minds and theirs?

In The Gap, psychologist Thomas Suddendorf provides a definitive account of the mental qualities that separate humans from other animals, as well as how these differences arose. Drawing on two decades of research on apes, children, and human evolution, he surveys the abilities most often cited as uniquely human -- language, intelligence, morality, culture, theory of mind, and mental time travel -- and finds that two traits account for most of the ways in which our minds appear so distinct: Namely, our open-ended ability to imagine and reflect on scenarios, and our insatiable drive to link our minds together. These two traits explain how our species was able to amplify qualities that we inherited in parallel with our animal counterparts; transforming animal communication into language, memory into mental time travel, sociality into mind reading, problem solving into abstract reasoning, traditions into culture, and empathy into morality.

Suddendorf concludes with the provocative suggestion that our unrivalled status may be our own creation -- and that the gap is growing wider not so much because we are becoming smarter but because we are killing off our closest intelligent animal relatives.

Weaving together the latest findings in animal behavior, child development, anthropology, psychology, and neuroscience, this book will change the way we think about our place in nature. A major argument for reconsidering what makes us human, The Gap is essential reading for anyone interested in our evolutionary origins and our relationship with the rest of the animal kingdom.
Are bird songs learned or genetically programmed?
How do animals attract the opposite sex?
How does play affect development?
How do wolves signal surrender?
Which animals have been observed using tools?
Do squirrels ever forget food caches?
How do bees differentiate between hives?
Can some animals count?


Examines the state of the art-and its evolution
Exploring the full range of animal behavior studies, this authoritative Handbook covers the current state of the art as well as important historical developments in the field since its beginnings over a century ago. It features original essays by comparative psychologists and other animal behavior researchers in experimental psychology who examine and report on the latest research and discoveries in the areas of evolution, development, and species-typical behavior.
Discusses all other major approaches to animal behavior
The Handbook is the only major reference work to offer a unique psychological perspective of the field. It is also the only one to provide numerous examples of other major approaches to animal behavior, and to discuss and compare them. Arranged in eight major sections for quick and efficient information retrieval, the Handbook:
Covers the history and philosophical foundations of comparative psychology, spotlights key figures, and provides international perspectives.
Surveys all the important concepts, issues, and theoretical developments in the field.
Addresses the latest methodology, focusing on apparatus, research design, statistical techniques, and zoo research.
Deals with physiological correlates of behavior, hormones, pheromones, sensation and perception, and sleep.
Provides intensive examinations of the behavior of a wide variety of species and groups of animals, from cephalopods and insects to wolves and primates.
Covers the key psychological processes of learning and development of behavior, a major emphasis of the field that distinguishes it from other approaches.
Treats the full range of functional behaviors by which individuals and species ensure survival and reproductive success.
Analyzes cognitive processes, describing complex patterns of behavior in terms of information processing and use.

Ideal as a source book for students in comparative psychology, ethology, sociobiology, anthropology, and evolutionary psychology, the Handbook is also a handy reference for scientists working in these fields and for the lay person who wants to understand animal behavior.
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