This chapter provides an introduction to cognitive ecology that gives attention to ecology and the evolution of “cognition,” defining it as the neuronal processes concerned with the acquisition, retention, and use of information. Cognition can be divided into several interrelated and inseparable components including perception, learning, working memory, attention, long-term memory, and decision making. The chapter provides an overview of research programs relating cognition to avian ecology, as well as a brief discussion on cognitive aspects of decisions made within reproduction and antipredator behavior categories. It also shows a link between antipredatory and social behavior by analyzing the alarm calls of meerkats.
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