book cover as if by design

As If by Design

The eureka moment is a myth. It is an altogether naïve and fanciful account of human progress. Innovations emerge from a much less mysterious combination of historical, circumstantial, and accidental influences. This book explores the origin and evolution of several important behavioral innovations including the high five, the Heimlich maneuver, the butterfly stroke, the moonwalk, and the Iowa caucus. Such creations' striking suitability to the situation and the moment appear ingeniously designed with foresight.

However, more often than not, they actually arise 'as if by design.' Based on investigations into the histories of a wide range of innovations, Edward A. Wasserman reveals the nature of behavioral creativity. What surfaces is a fascinating web of causation involving three main factors: context, consequence, and coincidence. Focusing on the process rather than the product of innovation elevates behavior to the very center of the creative human endeavor.

cover of Oxford Handbook

The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Cognition

In the past decade, the field of comparative cognition has grown and thrived. No less rigorous than purely behavioristic investigations, examinations of animal intelligence are useful for scientists and psychologists alike in their quest to understand the nature and mechanisms of intelligence. Extensive field research of various species has yielded exciting new areas of research, integrating findings from psychology, behavioral ecology, and ethology in a unique and wide-ranging synthesis of theory and research on animal cognition.

This second edition of the Oxford Handbook of Comparative Cognition contains sections on perception and illusion, attention and search, memory processes, spatial cognition, conceptualization and categorization, problem solving and behavioral flexibility, and social cognition processes including findings in primate tool usage, pattern learning, and counting. The authors have incorporated findings and theoretical approaches that reflect the current state of the field of comparative cognition.

cover of How Animals See World

How Animals See the World

The visual world of animals is highly diverse and often very different from the world that we humans take for granted. This book provides an extensive review of the latest behavioral and neurobiological research on animal vision, highlighting fascinating species similarities and differences in visual processing. It contains twenty-six chapters about a variety of species including: honeybees, spiders, fish, birds, and primates.

The chapters are divided into six sections: perceptual grouping and segmentation, object perception and object recognition, motion perception, visual attention, different dimensions of visual perception, and the evolution of the visual system.