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date: 30 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Visual cognition consists of two kinds of analytic processes, those concerned with the “what” and those involved with the “where” of incoming stimulation. In the primate brain, these two processes are analyzed by two parallel information flows: the ventral pathway, which analyzes object properties (i.e., the “what”), and the dorsal pathway, which analyzes localization and spatial properties (i.e., the “where”). This chapter first reviews findings related to both aspects of the neural system in birds and compares these to the primate brain system. Second, it examines the neural basis of flexibility of avian cognition. Cognitive flexibility is defined in terms of modifications of already acquired knowledge and the creation of new knowledge. The final section discusses the evolutionary origin of this intelligent behavior.

Keywords: visual cognition, birds, primate brain, avian cognition, cognitive flexibility

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