Summary, Discussion And Evaluation Of The Article 'capacity Of Bottle Nosed Dolphins For Generalization Based On A Relative Sign'

2400 words - 10 pages

SUMMARY OF INTRODUCTION'This study investigated weather bottle-nosed dolphins could recall their own recent behaviors and reveal those recollections on the basis of an abstract (i.e. highly generalizable) rule. Two dolphins were trained to respond to a specific gesturual command by repeating the last behavior they performed. Unlike previous studies with other species, the behaviors the dolphins were asked to recall in this experiment included a substantial number of the dolphins' trained behaviors, as well as combinations of actions not explicitly trained and behaviors self selected by the dolphins. The tests of repeating performance were divided into four parts. Past experiments have only allowed researches to investigate whether animals could discriminate recently performed behaviors and perform arbitrary responses on the basis of those discriminations. This study requires that the dolphins not only discriminate but also identify past actions and perform responses that clearly reveal the extent to which those actions were identified. The results of this study can potentially address more general questions about (1) the abilities of animals to represent their own recently performed behaviors in working memory, (2) the general accessibility of these representations, and (3) the ability of such representations to affect future behaviors.'Does the Introduction Fit the Classic Structure?The introduction went into detail concerning what is known about the abilities of animals to recall and identify their own actions. Several experiments which lead to those conclusions were also explained. It was then pointed out why those experiments and those conclusions were not sufficient to explain how or if animals were aware of their own actions. The introduction also explained the capabilities of dolphins which made them good subjects for this experiment. Overall the introduction was well laid out and it sufficiently explained the background of the subject and the questions that were to be addressed, as well as giving an overview of how the experiment was performed. This follows the traditional model of an introduction.PROCEDUREThe experiment was divided up into four parts. The purpose of each part was described briefly. The general procedure for the experiment was presented in part A. This went into detail describing all general aspects of the procedure, such as describing the two dolphins used, the dimensions of the pool used, what the dolphins were fed, the preparation training that the dolphins under went, the gestural commands given to the dolphins, the location of the trainer and researchers in relation to the dolphin, the precautions that were taken to avoid inadvertent cuing of the dolphins, ect. The methods for each part of the experiment were explained separately. The procedure section adequately described how the experiment was conducted and contained the methods so that it could be reproduced. It did not however address the where and when portions...

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