Executive Function in Dogs
- Wednesday, November 14, 2018 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm
- A.J.M. Johnson Hall, 251 - view map
This talk will focus on data from a recent investigation into canine executive function. Scientific knowledge of this aspect of canine cognition has been limited by inadequate sample sizes and use of tasks that have not been evaluated in terms of there validity and reliability. Across two experiments, this study aimed to validate two commonly used tasks -- the cylinder task and the A-not-B task -- in terms of their ability to capture aspects of canine executive function. Additionally, reliability of the tasks was estimated. Overall, the cylinder task is reliable and appears to reflect an effortful process which relies at least partly on (1) a resource that can be diminished by self-control exertion and (2) strategy transfer from one apparatus to a similar one. The A-not-B task, however, showed questionable reliability and validity. Future research on canine executive function should include the former and omit the latter, while continuing to assess other tasks and use adequately-powered samples.
- Department of Psychology