Animals are able to control their behavior in time so that it corresponds to the temporal relations that exist in the environment. However, what happens if temporal signals in the environment are inconsistent with one another? We have found that, when two cues that each signal a different delay to reinforcement are presented simultaneously, rats will often behave as if they are timing an average of their respective durations. We have interpreted this phenomenon as resulting from an integration process in which different temporal memories are combined into a weighted average, which is then timed in an otherwise normal manner. Here, we review the factors that moderate temporal memory averaging, and discuss implications that this averaging behavior has for theories of interval timing, as well as conflict in other domains.
Dogs are known to be extremely sensitive to human behavior. They use human gestures such as pointing as a cue better than great apes. A question here is whether this wonderful human companion simply reads apparent "behavior" of us, or, like humans, more deeply some sort of indirect information the behavior implies. In three separate tests, including pointing games with a non-trustworthy person, inference of the door function from human behavior toward it, and third-party affective evaluation of human interactions, we show that dogs often utilize more than superficial actions they observe. Dogs are at least somewhat "cognitivists" rather than pure "behaviorists" that learn everything by simple association with observable stimuli.
Understanding maternal behavior and infant development of wild animals living in modern zoos is essential for zoos to achieve conservation which is one of their primary roles, including successful reproduction in captivity. Moreover, zoos could provide us with the opportunities to understand the diversity of mother-infant relationships among mammals. For example, like those in the wild, giraffe and black rhinoceros mothers in captivity show hider and follower types, respectively. Moreover, our detailed observations at zoos have shown that giraffe mothers tend to be very responsible for nursing interactions with their calves, whereas rhinoceros mothers have tolerant attitudes toward their calves. Unlike ungulates, infants of primates such as Japanese monkeys and gorillas spend most of their time in contact with their mothers during the early stages of development owing to their clinging abilities, which decrease with increasing infant age. Seeing zoo animals directly as well as learning of their behavior, based on behavioral studies on them would help zoo visitors develop an interest in zoo animals and their counterparts in the wild.
Great apes have prolonged dependent period and learn a variety of skills and knowledge through intensive interaction with the mother based on affectionate bond between them. Among four species of great apes, both chimpanzees and orangutans use tools in the wild based on their skills of object manipulation and cognitive development which is gradually formed through mother-infant interactions. Researchers found the effectiveness of human intervention and support to promote mother-rearing in captive great apes despite of initial maternal problems. Compared to African great apes, orangutans have solitary lifestyle and the longest dependent period of about 7-8 years indicating the higher reliance on the other. Orang Utan Island (OUI) is a facility open to public and located in Bukit Merah, Perak, Peninsula Malaysia. OUI holds 26 orangutans and has been promoting rehabilitation program as an effort of ex-situ conservation. Orangutan mothers are now practicing infant rearing in OUI and in semi-natural environment in adjacent BJ Island. The importance of mother-infant interaction as a base for cognitive development should be widely recognized among animal researchers and keepers for promoting mother-rearing in captive settings.
A longitudinal study of chimpanzee infants at Tama Zoo in Japan revealed a relationship between the mother's rearing behavior and the exploratory behavior of the offspring. We observed 8 chimpanzees (born since 1999) for the first 36 months of their lives. We compared their motor development, tool use, and separation from their mothers. Nervous mothers tended to spend time away from the social group, isolating their infant at an early stage and making them more cautious about being away from their mother. Developmental diversities in social, physical and cognitive abilities were also observed. Some were early developers in general, while others were early in social and physical aspects but late in cognitive development, while some were slow in general. Further data is needed for a more detailed analysis. Life at the zoo is different from life in the wild, but observing young zoo animals allows us to gain developmental data that would be more difficult to obtain in the wild.
Both positivity and negativity are important components for the development of mother-offspring relationship. The "inter-body antagonism" is an important biological framework to promote offspring's independence from mothers. Weaning, an achievement of nutritional independence in offspring, is a typical situation in which mother-child negativity plays an important role. Human mother-child separation is also actualized by complex sociocultural allomothering systems consisting of objects, persons and institutes. Human triadic relationship in joint attention by mother and infant to object is a basic element of the systems. The relationship is preceded by "Proto-triadic relationship" in which particular body parts are used as targets in human inter-body interactions as in a case of tickling play.Not only object but also person could be a target of attention in triadic relation, and exchange of perspectives with the person is essential in the human infant's cultural learning and establishment of social network. A special allomothering by a girl called Moriane in an island of Okinawa is an example of such allomothering.
Kyoto City Zoo has collaborated with the Wildlife Research Center of Kyoto University according to the partnership agreement on research and education in wildlife conservation since 2008. As a result of this collaboration, Kyoto City Zoo has established a new section, the "Center for Research and Education of Wildlife," to further promote research and education in the zoo. We have continued to run the "Exhibition of Intelligence" for more than seven years, with four species of primates: chimpanzees, western gorillas, white-handed gibbons, and mandrills. We have also observed various types of behaviors in giraffes, red pandas, Brazilian tapirs, and Humboldt penguins to understand the behaviors in each species. In November 2014, four Asian elephants were given to our zoo by Lao P. D. R. We have used this great opportunity to start various types of research on the elephants, collaborating with many university researchers. We also promote environmental education using this theme. I introduce the activities of research and education in the zoo from the perspective of the "four roles of modern zoos."
Eyeblink conditioning is an associative learning paradigm in which an association is formed by the paired presentation of a neutral conditioned stimulus (CS), such as a tone, and an unconditioned stimulus (US), such as a corneal air puff or a periorbital shock. In the rabbit, cerebellum-brainstem circuitry plays an essential role in delay eyeblink conditioning, in which the US is delayed and terminates simultaneously with the CS. However, the neural mechanisms underlying delay eyeblink conditioning in mice and rats are unclear. In addition to cerebellum-brainstem circuitry, the amygdala is reportedly important for delay eyeblink conditioning in the mouse and rat. Here, we review the neural mechanisms underlying delay eyeblink conditioning in the rabbit, mouse, and rat, discussing relevant neural circuitry specific to mice and rats versus rabbits. We also review the neural circuitry underlying trace eyeblink conditioning, in which the CS and US are separated by a stimulus-free trace interval. The forebrain and cerebellar-brainstem circuitries are important for trace eyeblink conditioning in the rabbit, mouse, and rat. This review provides useful information for future research on eyeblink conditioning and for understanding neural substrates subserving learning and memory.