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Listen to part of lecture in a psychology class.

We've been talking about animal cognition——the study of animal intelligence. Much of the research in this area is motivated by the search for animal analogues or parwells parallels to human cognitive processes. And one of processes we've been investigating is metacognition.

What is meta cognition? Well, it's been wear aware of what one knows or feels, having no an awareness of one stat one's state of mind. And making decisions about behaviors based on what one knows. Researchers are have long being interested in whether animals possess this capble of bility capability, but couldn't tested test it, because animals are unable aren't able to report their feelings.

But recently, one group of researchers found a way to solve this problem. It's study They did studied with monkeys and dolphins that provide evidence that these animals have the ability to feel uncertainty, to feel unsure about something and, well, to know they're uncertain. 

So, how could these researchers figure out if an animal if feels uncertainty? Well, it began with a study, one of them de??? did on a dolphin, who've been trained to recognize particular high pitch high-pitched tone. The dophin was talked taught to press one of two pattles paddles to ??? depending on whether it heard the high ??? tone or one that  when they was lower. ??? was ??? for cretors sponse Food was a reward for a correct response,

But if the wrong pattle paddle was pressed, the dolphin had to wait serveral seconds before it could try again. The test clear even difficult task varied in difficulty according to pitch of second tone, the close recame The closer it came and in pithed pitch to the first one, the harder became for the dolphin to correctly identify it as low. And the researchers noticed that the dolphin was quite eager to press the pattle paddle when it was unsure sure the answer, but exhibited has attention hesitation during difficult trials.

Next, the researcher introduce a third option, a third paddle that would initiate a new trial, giving the dolphin the choice of passing on difficult trials. The Once the dolphin figured out the result of pressing this new pattle paddle, if it did choose it frequently when the trial was difficult. The researcher took that this as an indication that the animal wanted to pass because it didn't know the answer and knew it didn't know. 

But there was a problem. Other researcher protested the oupdour opt-out response was simply learned or conditioned response. You were introduce remember intro to psychology, right? Birds In other words, by pressing the past pass paddle, the dolphin avoided having to wait, and hesite hasten in the possibility of food reward by moving recly directly to the next trial. So the experiment didn't necessarily indicate that the dolphin had knowledge of its own uncertainty, just studied that it  wanted won't to avoid negtive negative consequences. 

So more recently, our reseacher colleagues diviced devised a new study, this time using monkeys. In this experiment, the monkey has had to identify certain patterns displayed on the a computer screen. The These patterns were now against analogous to the tones used in the dolphin study.

One type of pattern was up of specific idensity density, and was up to be classfied as dense. While the second type of pattern could barring vary in idensity density. But was always lastence less dence than then the first one. Monkey's And the monkey's task was to identify this second type as ??? sparse. So the ??? denser the second type of pattern was, the more difficult the task became.

And as in a previous study, the monkeys were given a third choice that would allow them to pass on to a new trial. But unlike in the dolphin experiment, the monkeys had to complete four trials before they got any feedback. They didn't know if they responed correctly or incorrectly after each trial because there was no reward or punishment. At the end of four trials, feedback was given. The monkey received a full reward for each correct response.

And a time-out during which a buzzer was sounded for each incorrect response. But the monkeys had no way to tell which reward or punishment was associated with which response. And they didn't get either reward or punishment for choosing the pass option, the...um...the uncertainty response. But nevertheless they still choose this option in the appropriate circumstances when the trial was particularly difficult. And this is evidence that is wasn't simply a conditioned response, because that response didn't guarantee a faster reward.

So what does all this tell us about animal consciousness or animal's awareness of themselves and their state of mind? Can we really know what's going on in the minds of animals? No, of course not, but exploring the metacognitive capacity of animals could become an important ??? criterion in highlightling the simlarities and differences between heman and animal minds.

这篇心理学lecture介绍关于researchers去探知metacongnition,去find out动物是否具有元认知——即动物能意识到自己的思维状态。但是,动物不能报告自己的感觉,于是researchers发现了一种方法可以解决这个问题。



研究者们分别给海豚和猴子进行了测验,海豚进行的是音高测验,得到的反馈是即时的,这被其它研究者指出这个试验无法证明海豚具有metacogniton,有可能就是高级条件反射而已。第二个试验用猴子辨别电脑的图案,通过图案的密度来选择正确的答案,但是这次的奖励不是即时的,猴子们必须做完4个题目才能得到feedback,这个试验是延时奖励,所以否定了条件反射的说法,在一定程度上证明了猴子有一定的metacognititve ability。


  • wear aware
  • no an
  • de??? did on a


  • analogues 类似物,相似体
  • parallels 平行线
  • investigating 调查
  • metacognition 元认知
  • capability 能力
  • high-pitched tone 高音调
  • paddles 桨 (TPO里面直接翻译成开关)(虽然确实是开关,但是词典里没写)
  • initiate 发起 (我这里理解为“初始化”,因为coding经常会看到initialization)(之所以能反应出这个单词,还是因为经常看到)
  • protested 抗议
  • opt-out 选择退出 (本章节特有单词,因为选择了third option而能EXIT的现象)
  • hasten 加速
  • devise 设计
  • analogous  类似的
  • density 密度
  • sparse 稀疏
  • buzzer 蜂鸣器
  • consciousness 意识
  • criterion 标准
  • inability 无能 ; 无力 ; 不能
  • objection 异议(protest)


  • but exhibited hesitation during difficult trials.
  • necessarily indicate 必然表明




This article was last edited at 2021-02-24 10:11:41

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