We define the cognitive landscape as the result of the mental elaboration by every organism of the perceived surroundings. In the ecological realm the term "cognitive" is not popular and remains a controversial subject (e.g. Real 1993, Bennett 1996, Allen and Bekoff 1997, Dukas 1998, Shettleworth 2001) although cognitive processes are among the most evolved mechanisms by which organisms are related to the environment.
For instance, stochastic models appear inadequate to describe the strategies used by organisms to intercept resources that are heterogeneous in space and time (Gautestad and Mysterud 2005).
The hypothesis that most of the mobile organisms have a capacity for landscaping and use complex mechanisms based on memory-learning and thinking is reasonable and empirically demonstrated in many groups of animals (e.g. Benhamou and Poucet 1996, Edwards et al. 1996, Beecham 2001, Chittka and Thomson 2001, Grubb 2003).
The landscape becomes a perceived and mind-elaborated entity and not merely a physical entity characterized by invariant attributes.
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