Wednesday 17 December, 2014

Crows have advanced learning abilities

Published On: Thu, Dec 15th, 2011 | Wildlife | By BioNews

New Caledonian crows can learn to use new types of tools, a new study has claimed.

These crows have been known for their advanced tool using abilities.

Now, a team of researchers from the University of Auckland and the University of Cambridge has revealed its learning abilities.

When confronted with the Aesop’s fable paradigm, which requires stones to be dropped into a water-filled tube to bring floating food within reach, the crows quickly learned to use stones as tools.

They then preferred to drop into the tube large rocks rather than small rocks, and heavy objects over light objects (which floated on the surface of the water and so were ineffective).

Further experiments showed that the crows’ performances were not based on simple learning, which suggests that the crows had some understanding of how the task actually worked.

The researchers, therefore, concluded that these crows have cognitive mechanisms beyond simple associative learning that are capable of processing causal information about novel tool types.

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