Aaron P Blaisdell and Michael R Waldmann (2012)

Rational rats: Causal inference and representation.

In: The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Cognition, ed. by Zentall, Thomas R. and Wasserman, Edward A. and Zentall, Thomas R. (Ed) and Wasserman, Edward A. (Ed). Oxford University Press, New York, NY, US, chap. Rational rats: Causal inference and representation., pp. 175-198. (ISBN: 978-0-19-539266-1).

Humans are causal agents par excellence. But what are the psychological processes that have evolved to produce human causal cognition? And which aspects of causal cognition are uniquely human and which are shared with other species? This chapter describes how a computational model of causal inference, causal model theory, can usefully frame these questions and allow the design of experiments that can Illuminate the underlying psychological competencies. The model specifies procedures that allow organisms to go beyond the information given to distinguish causal from noncausal covariations. By using this model we assume that organisms such as rats and people have evolved to approximate rational causal inference. The chapter discusses experimental Investigations of rat behavior under conditions designed to test the predictions of causal model theory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

Accession Number: 2012-08262-011. Partial author list: First Author & Affiliation: Blaisdell, Aaron P.; Department of Psychology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, US. Release Date: 20141006. Publication Type: Book (0200), Edited Book (0280). Format Covered: Print. Document Type: Chapter. Book Type: Handbook/Manual. ISBN: 978-0-19-539266-1, Hardcover. Language: English. Major Descriptor: Cognition; Inference; Rats; Computational Modeling. Classification: Learning & Motivation (2420). Population: Human (10); Animal (20). Intended Audience: Psychology: Professional & Research (PS). References Available: Y. Page Count: 24.