Intelligenza emotiva e cognizione di sé: confronto nello sviluppo psichico fra uomo e animali domestici


The way we perceive the world affects our being and vice versa. The sense organs are the first information's source, representing the first filter that considers certain input and ignores others. Even the attention is a mental function, directed voluntarily or recalled by the characteristics of the stimulus, selects incoming information material, based on energy stimulus, attentional resources and information potential. The reason that stimulus is not implemented is its lack of information potential: we are not interested. A stimulus can occur aggressively to our senses, but if it lacks attractiveness it is not perceived. If the brain filters the input redundant, in the opposite situation you need to create them. Subjects deprivated of the senses show agitation, discomfort and growing boredom; Finally there is a very strong need for stimulation, sought with frantic movements and mismatched behaviours. Expectations are expectations, desires, related to an event or projected into the future. To explain what is a mind and how it works we can mention proximal planning, linked to processing feasible in a very close time. Miller writes: "The closer in time is given the reward to the desired behavior, the quicker that same behavior will be reinforced.(…) Animals, in short, has denied our reasoning about the distant future, defined as distal planning. Cognitive-behavioral development of animals is very different from ours, and this is much more evident in the prey animals, which are born already mature and know only the development mediated by learning." But even in the case of dogs (predatory species like us) the differences are many: in general, while the canine development (physical and neuropsychological) is accomplished in the early weeks, running out in one step, the human knows periods of stasis and other rapid progression, so that we can talk of polyphasic development. Also the way we grow follows not only different times, but also a certain hierarchy: from the more "animal" to the more "human"; from the concrete to the more abstract. Although the initial stages of our lives are marked by a rapid physical and neuro-psychological progress, that is important but nothing special (in fact it is possible to compare animals and children), the culmination of this growth comes typically with large human abilities, which are the last to appear: capacity for abstraction, to manipulate complex symbols, and language. These two capacities (which together form the basis of culture) allow us unlimited growth. As the animals learn and retain information in memory - following in this way a kind of limited development of behavior - they never reach our results. In the path of life, we and animals, we begin at birth by more or less close positions, and maintain this vicinity for a short period. Soon, however, we overgrow them, and as we move into a solitary race on what is authentically human. The development of preys is very fast, even non-existent or minimal physically and neurologically: the horses are born mature and senses are fully functional. The imprinting period is very short and pretty close to the birth. The situation is different for the predatory species, which at birth have a progeny immature and helpless. This category comprises dogs, cats, eagles, bears and, of course, humans. The paper examines and review all main data in human and animal cognitive development.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i17201632vxixn34p117

Keywords: Proximal and distal future; cognitive development; culture; unlimited growt

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