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Cross-modal representations in primates and dogs

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The importance of learning and categorizing social objects and events has become widely acknowledged over a couple of decades. Although findings from field studies have suggested that non-human animals have sophisticated abilities to recognize social objects, there is relatively little experimental evidence on this issue. Some studies have revealed animals’ excellent skills for discriminating visual and auditory social stimuli. However, because of perceptual resemblances among stimuli, it is still not clear that they recognize these objects with conceptual mechanisms that are independent of the perceptual characteristics of the stimuli. At the same time, whether their concepts have an aspect of transferring information from one modality to another has not received much attention. This paper advocates approaches to a cross-modal aspect of concepts as a new framework to solve these problems, and introduces the latest studies on cross-modal representations of social objects in non-humans.
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Keywords: audio-visual; comparative cognitive science; cross-modal representation; social cognition

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-07-23

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