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A Formal Notation To Aid Analysis of Complex Behaviour: Understanding the Tactical Deception of Primates

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A formal notation is argued to be useful in representing theories of complex animal behaviour. This "production system" approach, originally derived from artificial intelligence, is explained with a series of examples of tactical deception in primates. These examples are controversial, since they might suggest intentionality and thinking in non-humans, and their interpretation is not straightforward. The ease of representing competing explanations of sophisticated behaviour (for instance those used in behaviourist psychology, animal ethology, and cognitive science) in the single formalism of production systems, may eventually aid a rapprochement between disciplines with interests in the evolution of intelligence.

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Affiliations: 1: (Scottish Primate Research Group, University of St Andrews, School of Psychology, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9JU, Scotland,


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