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Cognitive Ecology II$
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Reuven Dukas and John M. Ratcliffe

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226169354

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226169378.001.0001

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Assessing Risk: Embryos, Information, and Escape Hatching

Assessing Risk: Embryos, Information, and Escape Hatching

(p.177) 10 Assessing Risk: Embryos, Information, and Escape Hatching
Cognitive Ecology II
Karen M. Warkentin
University of Chicago Press

This chapter reviews recent experiments related to cognition at the embryonic stage. It is considered that that embryo possesses sophisticated abilities to assess and respond to cues of predation. Information, detection, and decision theory have played key roles in studies of animal communication. Students of predator–prey interactions have considered how prey should behave under the typical context of imperfect information about risk. The authors note that embryonic cognition is an essential yet relatively neglected aspect of cognitive research even though it is relevant for many animals. The association of empirical studies of risk assessment mechanisms to the theoretical framework of information, detection, and decision theory provides both testable hypotheses for empirical work and new contexts in which to assess the generality of these bodies of theory.

Keywords:   embryonic stage, predation, information, detection, decision theory

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