Sofia I F Forss

Sofia I F Forss
University of Zurich | UZH · Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies

Dr. Natural Science
Junior Fellow at the Collegium Helveticum https://collegium.ethz.ch/en/fellows/dr-sofia-forss/

About

26
Publications
5,244
Reads
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382
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2017 - present
University of Tuebingen
Position
  • PhD Student
April 2010 - June 2016
University of Zurich
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (26)
Article
Full-text available
The cognitive mechanisms causing intraspecific behavioural differences between wild and captive animals remain poorly understood. Although diminished neophobia, resulting from a safer environment and more “ free ” time, has been proposed to underlie these differences among settings, less is known about how captivity influences exploration tendency....
Article
Full-text available
Although curiosity has huge implications for human creativity and learning, its evolutionary roots and function in animals remain poorly understood. Modern humans, who lack natural predators, thrive with curiosity, but our ancestors faced more hazardous environments that would not necessarily favor individual curiosity. Instead, being curious may h...
Article
Full-text available
Although a large body of primate cognition research is done in captive institutions, little is known about how much individuals from different facilities vary in their experiences and cognitive skills. Here we present the results of an experimental study investigating how physical cognitive skills vary between chimpanzees in relation to captive set...
Article
How animals respond to novel objects may reflect their overall cognitive and behavioral disposition. A study using camera traps reveals that different species of wild ape respond to novelty differently.
Data
The following plots depict the model estimated coefficients as well as the lower limit estimates and the upper limit estimates. The plots are generated by the R function m.stab.plot written by Roger Mundry. Model A plot is not included as the function m.stab.plot could not be applied to the transformed data. Supplementary material 1: Model stabilit...
Article
Full-text available
The effects of age on neophobia and exploration are best described in birds and primates, and broader comparisons require reports from other taxa. Here we present data showing age-dependent exploration in a long-lived social species, the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus). A previous study found that vampire bats regurgitated food to partners t...
Data
Code and embedded data for reproducing analyses and plots. (R)
Article
Full-text available
Correction Upon publication of this article it [1] was noticed the figure placement was incorrect and figure citations were also numbered incorrectly.
Article
Full-text available
It has been hypothesized that opportunities for social learning affect the size and complexity of the adult skill set of birds and mammals, their learning ability, and thus ultimately also their innovation frequency. To test these predictions we compared rates of social learning, rates of independent exploration (independent learning) and innovatio...
Article
Full-text available
How animals react to novel food and objects is commonly thought of as a crucial step toward innovations. One would therefore expect innovative species to be attracted to novelty and benefit from a combination of low neophobia and a high motivation to explore. Here we draw attention to the innovation paradox: the most innovative species tend to show...
Article
Full-text available
Non-human animals sometimes show marked intraspecific variation in their cognitive abilities that may reflect variation in external inputs and experience during the developmental period. We examined variation in exploration and cognitive performance on a problem-solving task in a large sample of captive orang-utans (Pongo abelii & P. pygmaeus, N =...
Article
Full-text available
Background Orangutans have one of the slowest-paced life histories of all mammals. Whereas life-history theory suggests that the time to reach adulthood is constrained by the time needed to reach adult body size, the needing-to-learn hypothesis instead suggests that it is limited by the time needed to acquire adult-level skills.To test between thes...
Article
Experiments have shown that captive great apes are capable of observational learning, and patterns of cultural variation between populations suggest that they use this capacity in the wild. So far, the contexts and extent of observational forms of social learning in the wild remain unclear. Social learning is expected to be most pronounced during t...
Article
Full-text available
Cultural species can - or even prefer to - learn their skills from conspecifics. According to the cultural intelligence hypothesis, selection on underlying mechanisms not only improves this social learning ability but also the asocial (individual) learning ability. Thus, species with systematically richer opportunities to socially acquire knowledge...
Article
Full-text available
Young orangutans are highly neophobic, avoid independent exploration and show a preference for social learning. Accordingly, they acquire virtually all their learned skills through exploration that is socially induced. Adult exploration rates are also low. Comparisons strongly suggest that major innovations, i.e. behaviours that have originally bee...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Like humans, non-human primates show great individual variation in their cognitive abilities. The present study aims to explain the variation in cognitive performance on a set of problem-solving tasks using an unusually large sample of orangutans (Pongo abelii & Pongo pygmaeus) brought up under dissimilar conditions (N=90). We performed an experime...
Article
Full-text available
Several studies have suggested that wild primates tend to behave with caution toward novelty, whereas captive primates are thought to be less neophobic, more exploratory, and more innovative. However, few studies have systematically compared captive and wild individuals of the same species to document this "captivity effect" in greater detail. Here...

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