Rene Descartes Cogito ergo sum I think, therefore I am Dualism Cartesian theatre A place in your head where “you” are watching things happen
Humans are aware of ourselves as animate beings Control of own behaviour Mental representation of ourselves Are animals self-aware? Mirror tasks
Thinking about thinking Primary vs secondary representations Assessing internal states is not enough Knowing that you are hungry isn’t metacognition
Assessing knowledge states Some people know a lot about baseball, some don’t know much Do you know how much you know? e.g. “I really have to study for this midterm tomorrow, I don’t know anything!” Know a lot Know a little John is a moderate fan of baseball
Do not interpret as higher cognitive process if lower process will suffice Difficult to “show” secondary representations (especially without language) Can self-awareness and metacognition be explained through reinforcement history and/or associative learning?
A test of self-recognition, self-consciousness Stages: Time to adjust/experience mirror Tranquilize animal and paint 2 dots (visible and control- hidden) See if animal notices dot, compare to control dot A nimals tested: chimps, dolphins, elephants, magpies, cats?magpies cats
Epstein, Lanza & Skinner (1981) Trained pigeons to peck at blue dot Experience with mirror (see blue dot in mirror, peck at origin) Blue dot on pigeon, under bib Peck at bib video video
Skinner Kinds of questions we ask children reinforces self-observation e.g., “are you hungry?” “what are you doing?” Accurate response likely results in some form of desired outcome (i.e., reinforcement of behaviour) 11
Do animals know when they don’t know? Dolpins, pigeons, rats, non-human primates Testing procedure Some trials include the option to ‘decline’ If animals know they don’t know, should decline to answer
Study phase: Short or Long tone Choice phase: 1/3 Forced Test 2/3 Choice Test phase: 6 pellets if correct 0 pellets if incorrect 3 pellets
If animals have metacognition: Increase use of ‘decline’ option as task difficulty increases Red-green not much use of ‘decline’ Light green-dark green more use of ‘decline’ Accuracy is higher on ‘chosen’ tests than ‘forced’ tests You choose to take the test when you know the answer Accuracy difference increases with task difficulty Can associative processes explain higher accuracy on ‘Chosen’ tests?
Smith, Beran, Couchman, & Coutinho, 2008 Reinforcement of ‘decline’ options creates a “low frequency tendency” to decline Competes with generalization gradients for each stimulus
Subjective level of stimulus Response Strength High Low ShortLong Decline Threshold
Reinforcement to decline option creates a constant response-strength tendency Competes with response-strength of stimuli Winner-take-all mechanism Since it is based on subjective view of stimuli, also accounts for difference between Chosen-Forced accuracy
Jozefowiez, Staddon & Cerutti, 2009 Similar to quantitative model, but measures Probability of payoff Risk levels (is animal risk-prone or risk-averse?)
Subjective level of stimulus Payoff ShortLong Short responseLong response Probability of payoff at subjective equality is diminished
Subjective level of stimulus Payoff ShortLong Short responseLong response Correct 50% of time, average reward = 3 pellets Decline reward = 3 pellets Risk Neutral
Subjective level of stimulus Payoff ShortLong Short responseLong response Risk Averse Would rather guarantee payoff of 3 than risk no reward
More on this next week... When might an animal want to guarantee some kind of payoff? When might they be willing to “risk it” for the larger payoff? Model accounts for changing needs, and metacognition Still doesn’t assume metacognition
es/2007/01/ html es/2007/01/ html Is self- awareness/metacognition/consciousness necessary? Why learn to be self-aware? Evolutionary advantages?