Volume 4: pp. 1-16

Metacognition in animals

by Jonathon D. Crystal,
University of Georgia

Allison L. Foote,
University of Georgia

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Metacognition is thinking about thinking. There is considerable interest in developing animal models of metacognition to provide insight about the evolution of mind and a basis for investigating neurobiological mechanisms of cognitive impairments in people. Formal modeling of low-level (i.e., alternative) mechanisms has recently demonstrated that prevailing standards for documenting metacognition are inadequate. Indeed, low-level mechanisms are sufficient to explain data from existing methods. Consequently, an assessment of what is ‘lost’ (in terms of existing methods and data) necessitates the development of new, innovative methods for metacognition. Development of new methods may prompt the establishment of new standards for documenting metacognition.

Keywords: metacognition, comparative metacognition, uncertainty monitorying, metamemory, quantitative modeling

Crystal, J. D., & Foote, A. L. (2009). Metacognition in animals. Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews, 4, 1-16. Retrieved from http://comparative-cognition-and-behavior-reviews.org/ doi:10.3819/ccbr.2009.40001