Self-reflective mind — in animals! Psychologists report on continuing advances

Patricia Donovan
EurekAlert

Do animals have reflective minds able to self-regulate perception, reasoning, memory?

BUFFALO, N.Y. — According to one of the leading scholars in the field, there is an emerging consensus among scientists that animals share functional parallels with humans’ conscious metacognition — that is, our ability to reflect on our own mental processes and guide and optimize them.

In two new contributions to this influential field of comparative psychology, David Smith, PhD, of the University at Buffalo and his fellow researchers report on continuing advances in this domain.

Smith is a professor in the Department of Psychology at UB, and a member of the university’s graduate program in evolution, ecology and behavior and its Center for Cognitive Science. His co-authors on the articles are Justin J. Couchman, PhD, visiting assistant professor of psychology, State University of New York at Fredonia, and Michael J. Beran, PhD, senior research scientist, Language Research Center, Georgia State University.

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