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Sometimes a stick might just be a stick

  • Christopher B. SturdyEmail author
  • Jenna V. Congdon
Commentary

Abstract

Suzuki (Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences, 115, 1541-1545, 2018) conducted elegant field experiments examining referential communication in Japanese tits. Bond (Learning & Behavior, in press, 2019) explains some key considerations and future experimentation that should be conducted to solidify these conclusions. An important takeaway from both Suzuki and Bond is that scientists can, and should, both be excited for new, interesting scientific discoveries, and also view such findings with a critical, but collegial, eye for more parsimonious explanations and the manipulations required to test such explanations.

Keywords

Parids Alarm calls Referential communication 

Notes

References

  1. Bond, A. (2019). Searching images and the meaning of alarm calls. Learning & Behavior.Google Scholar
  2. Hahn, A. H., Congdon, J. V., Campbell, K. A., Scully, E. N., McMillan, N., & Sturdy, C. B. (2017). Mechanisms of communication and cognition in chickadees: Explaining nature in the lab and field. In Advances in the Study of Behavior (Vol. 49, pp. 147-197). Academic Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  3. McMillan, N., Avey, M. T., Bloomfield, L. L., Guillette, L. M., Hahn, A. H., Hoeschele, M., & Sturdy, C. B. (2017). Avian vocal perception: Bioacoustics and perceptual mechanisms. In C. ten Cate & S. D. Healy (Eds) Avian Cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Suzuki, T. N. (2014). Communication about predator type by a bird using discrete, graded and combinatorial variation in alarm calls. Animal Behaviour, 87, 59-65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Suzuki, T. N. (2018). Alarm calls evoke a visual search image of a predator in birds. Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences, 115, 1541-1545.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Suzuki, T. N. (2019). Imagery in wild birds: Retrieval of visual information from referential alarm calls. Learning & Behavior. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Neuroscience and Mental Health InstituteUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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