Cognitive development in gray wolves: Development of object permanence and sensorimotor intelligence with respect to domestic dogs

Sylvain Fiset, Pierre Nadeau-Marchand, Nathaniel J. Hall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this chapter, we explore whether domestic dogs and gray wolves share a similar cognitive development with regards to how they represent physical and/or social objects. To reach this objective, we examine two key components of the Piagetian theory of cognitive development in the gray wolf: object permanence and sensorimotor intelligence. We detail how the capacity to search and locate disappearing objects develops in wolves and compare these data with those observed in previous studies with dogs. We then further describe an observational study of sensorimotor intelligence with these wolves. Overall, the results suggest that the development of object permanence is similar in dogs and wolves, both species reaching Stage 5b of object permanence by the age of 11 weeks. In terms of sensorimotor intelligence, Stage 4 was the upper limit of sensorimotor intelligence we observed in wolves. Moreover, up to 6 weeks of age, the behaviors of wolf puppies are directed predominantly towards their conspecifics, and by Week 8, wolves' interest in inanimate object increases significantly. In discussion, we explore the factors affecting the development of object permanence and sensorimotor intelligence in canines.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDomestic Dog Cognition and Behavior
Subtitle of host publicationThe Scientific Study of Canis familiaris
PublisherSpringer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Pages155-174
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783642539947
ISBN (Print)3642539939, 9783642539930
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

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    Fiset, S., Nadeau-Marchand, P., & Hall, N. J. (2014). Cognitive development in gray wolves: Development of object permanence and sensorimotor intelligence with respect to domestic dogs. In Domestic Dog Cognition and Behavior: The Scientific Study of Canis familiaris (pp. 155-174). Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-53994-7_7