LUCS Cognitive Zoology Group
Organisational unit: Research group
At Lund university animal cognition is studied at the sub department of Cognitive Science (LUCS). Find more information at http://www.lucs.lu.se/
How did cognition evolve? When and where did specific forms of cognition evolve? Has it evolved in similar ways again and again?
These questions can be answered by looking beyond the single species and compare organisms with different, and similar, abilities in different, and similar, environments. In this way the histories of cognition can be reconstructed.
This means the careful study of what animals do, and how they do it. To answer the how question, detailed experimental studies are needed where underlying mechanisms can be traced. We direct two research stations to this aim; a corvid cognition one, and one for primate cognition. See more at our webpages.
We call our field cognitive zoology to reflect the fact that we believe that cognition is an integral part of all facets of animal life. It is not just a late-coming addition to behaviour, separable from this. Consequently, there must be a placement of cognition in a larger zoological context, that takes into consideration animals’ ethologies, ecologies and adaptations, as well as developmental and learning processes.
Furthermore, we call our research cognitive zoology to emphasise that we do more than traditional comparative animal research, using methods not confined to e.g. experimental psychology. And although comparisons play an important role in our field, we are often as interested in cognition as part of the description of single species, or individuals.