Historically, the study of cognition has focused on species-specific learning, memory, problem-solving and decision-making capabilities, and emphasis was placed on the few high-performing individuals who successfully completed cognitive tasks. Studies often deemed the success of a small fraction of individuals as suggestive of the cognitive capacity of the entire species. Recently though, interest in individual variation in cognitive ability within species has increased. This interest has emerged concomitantly with studies of variation in animal personalities (i.e. behavioral syndromes).
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