Advanced

Interspecific observational memory in a non-caching Parus species, the great tit Parus major

Brodin, Anders LU and Urhan, Utku LU (2014) In Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 68(4). p.649-656
Abstract
Scatter-hoarding passerine birds have become a model system for research on spatial memory capacity. This research has focussed on two families, the Corvidae (crows, jays, nutcrackers, etc.) and the Paridae (titmice and chickadees). Corvids are considered to have highly developed cognitive skills that sometimes have been compared with the great apes. Even though pilfering, or stealing of caches made by others, is common among scatter-hoarding birds, the ability to memorize positions of caches made by others has only been demonstrated in some species of corvids. In parids, the ability to memorize positions of caches made by others has not been demonstrated. In a laboratory experiment, we allowed caged great tits to observe caching marsh... (More)
Scatter-hoarding passerine birds have become a model system for research on spatial memory capacity. This research has focussed on two families, the Corvidae (crows, jays, nutcrackers, etc.) and the Paridae (titmice and chickadees). Corvids are considered to have highly developed cognitive skills that sometimes have been compared with the great apes. Even though pilfering, or stealing of caches made by others, is common among scatter-hoarding birds, the ability to memorize positions of caches made by others has only been demonstrated in some species of corvids. In parids, the ability to memorize positions of caches made by others has not been demonstrated. In a laboratory experiment, we allowed caged great tits to observe caching marsh tits and found that they remembered caching locations both 1 and 24 h after observation. This is the first time observational spatial learning of this type explicitly has been demonstrated in a parid. This ability is surprising since the great tit is not itself a food hoarder, meaning that it may not have the special memory adaptations in the brain that specialized food hoarders possess. Also, the memorization process in an observing pilferer may differ from the memorization that hoarders make of own caches. For example, the typical close inspection of the cache that hoarding parids do after caching will usually not be possible from a distance. Also, the visual perspective of the observing scrounger may be different from that of the hoarder, meaning that some understanding of allocentric space may be required. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Great tit, Marsh tit, Scatter hoarding, Memory, Observational learning
in
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
volume
68
issue
4
pages
649 - 656
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000332979400012
  • scopus:84896091754
ISSN
1432-0762
DOI
10.1007/s00265-013-1679-2
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
682386cd-47bf-4ca8-bf7c-760ce80f64ba (old id 4410911)
date added to LUP
2014-04-29 10:59:01
date last changed
2017-10-29 03:51:46
@article{682386cd-47bf-4ca8-bf7c-760ce80f64ba,
  abstract     = {Scatter-hoarding passerine birds have become a model system for research on spatial memory capacity. This research has focussed on two families, the Corvidae (crows, jays, nutcrackers, etc.) and the Paridae (titmice and chickadees). Corvids are considered to have highly developed cognitive skills that sometimes have been compared with the great apes. Even though pilfering, or stealing of caches made by others, is common among scatter-hoarding birds, the ability to memorize positions of caches made by others has only been demonstrated in some species of corvids. In parids, the ability to memorize positions of caches made by others has not been demonstrated. In a laboratory experiment, we allowed caged great tits to observe caching marsh tits and found that they remembered caching locations both 1 and 24 h after observation. This is the first time observational spatial learning of this type explicitly has been demonstrated in a parid. This ability is surprising since the great tit is not itself a food hoarder, meaning that it may not have the special memory adaptations in the brain that specialized food hoarders possess. Also, the memorization process in an observing pilferer may differ from the memorization that hoarders make of own caches. For example, the typical close inspection of the cache that hoarding parids do after caching will usually not be possible from a distance. Also, the visual perspective of the observing scrounger may be different from that of the hoarder, meaning that some understanding of allocentric space may be required.},
  author       = {Brodin, Anders and Urhan, Utku},
  issn         = {1432-0762},
  keyword      = {Great tit,Marsh tit,Scatter hoarding,Memory,Observational learning},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {649--656},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology},
  title        = {Interspecific observational memory in a non-caching Parus species, the great tit Parus major},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00265-013-1679-2},
  volume       = {68},
  year         = {2014},
}