First, we discuss different types of detour tasks in relation to the cognitive skills they address.
We examine various factors that may influence detour behaviors, including ecological, evolutionary and task-specific factors.
In recent years, detour tasks have been employed for large-scale comparative research into the evolution of complex cognitive skills (Kabadayi et al.
A correct solution of the detour problem already on the first trial involves a mental operation where the subject manipulates the problem as a whole and thereafter executes the right response (Köhler Repeated testing of the subjects on detour problems can reveal various learning processes and phenomena such as spatial learning, trial-and-error learning, critical learning period during development, and disruption and retention mechanisms (Fischel When the goal becomes invisible, subjects rely on working memory of the position of the goal, and they plan their detour routes in the absence of perceptual cues emanating from the goal (Cross and Jackson Here we review the detour paradigm within in the field of animal cognition.
Semitransparent barriers can in turn have horizontal or vertical grid patterns, or both (Online Resource 1).
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Variation in such perceptual features often affects the detour performance (Table A display of eight of the most common setups in detour tasks; each setup comes with two symbols: a half-filled circle (a goal), and a filled triangle (a subject), and occupies a separate panel.Studies on such detour behaviors date back to the beginning of the twentieth century.Hobhouse () investigated whether chickens and fish will make roundabouts when a wire or glass barrier blocks the shortest path to a goal room.e Detour reaching task (object-retrieval task) requires a reaching detour through the side opening of the transparent box.The box has only one opening, which allows changing the open side facing the subject across trials.He tested chimpanzees, dogs and chickens when they faced a wire fence barrier with a reward on the other side.His aim was to study their potential “insight” capacities.f Delayed-detour task requires passing by an opaque corridor and in the end selecting between two paths, only one of which leads to the goal room.g Four-compartment box task requires the subject to turn its back to the goal and choose among four doors, only two of which lead to the goal room.Moreover, the barriers come in different shapes (U-, V-, I-, L-, J-shaped) and materials.Some barriers are fully transparent (e.g., glass), and some are semitransparent (e.g., fence/mesh).