Imitation by Animals

@article{Zentall2003ImitationBA,
  title={Imitation by Animals},
  author={Thomas R. Zentall},
  journal={Current Directions in Psychological Science},
  year={2003},
  volume={12},
  pages={91 - 95}
}
  • T. Zentall
  • Published 1 June 2003
  • Psychology
  • Current Directions in Psychological Science
Imitation is of psychological interest in part because it has cognitive implications for how organisms view the behavior of others, relative to their own behavior. It implies the ability to take the perspective of another. For this reason, researchers have tried to distinguish imitation from other kinds of social learning and influence. In the two-action procedure, one of two response topographies is demonstrated, and the correlation between the topography demonstrated and the topography later… 

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TLDR
Under the present conditions, it appears that an observer will imitate a demonstrated response only if it also observes the appetitive consequences of that response.

True Imitative Learning in Pigeons

Providing evidence for imitative learning in animals has been made difficult by the need to control for a number of possible nonimitation accounts (e.g., mere presence of another animal, attention

What Is the Significance of Imitation in Animals

IMITATION IN ANIMALS: EVIDENCE, FUNCTION, AND MECHANISMS

TLDR
In the present review, the various forms of social influence and social learning are identified and distinghished from imitation, a term that generally has been reserved for behavioral matching that cannot be accounted for using simpler specifically predisposed, motivational, or learning mechanisms.

Imitative learning in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) using the bidirectional control procedure

TLDR
Japanese quail, for which odor cues are not likely to play a role, also showed significant correspondence between the direction in which the demonstrator and the observer push a screen to gain access to reward, suggesting the bidirectional procedure appears to be useful for studying imitation in avian species.

Imitation of conditional discriminations in pigeons (Columba livia).

TLDR
The results suggest that pigeons are not only able to learn a specific behavior by observing another pigeon, but they can also learn under which circumstances to perform that behavior.

Limitations of a Bidirectional Control Procedure for the Investigation of Imitation in Rats: Odour Cues on the Manipulandum

Magazine-trained observer rats confronted a conspecific demonstrator pushing a joystick to the right or to the left for food reward before the observers were given access to the joystick from the

Can Young Chimpanzees (Pan Troglodytes) Imitate Arbitrary Actions? Hayes & Hayes (1952) Revisited

TLDR
It is concluded that after a period of tuition chimpanzees can go on to imitate arbitrary actions, providing evidence of a basic cognitive capacity for perspective-taking and cross-modal matching.

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TLDR
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The results established that newborn imitation is not constrained to a few privileged oral movements, and support Meltzoff and Moore's hypothesis that early imitation is mediated by an active cross-modal matching process.