Advanced

Function and flexibility of object exploration in kea and new caledonian crows

Lambert, Megan L. LU ; Schiestl, Martina; Schwing, Raoul; Taylor, Alex H.; Gajdon, Gyula K.; Slocombe, Katie E. and Seed, Amanda M. (2017) In Royal Society Open Science 4(9).
Abstract

A range of non-human animals frequently manipulate and explore objects in their environment, which may enable them to learn about physical properties and potentially form more abstract concepts of properties such as weight and rigidity. Whether animals can apply the information learned during their exploration to solve novel problems, however, and whether they actually change their exploratory behavior to seek functional information about objects have not been fully explored. We allowed kea (Nestor notabilis) and New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides) to explore sets of novel objects both before and after encountering a task in which some of the objects could function as tools. Following this, subjects were given test trials in... (More)

A range of non-human animals frequently manipulate and explore objects in their environment, which may enable them to learn about physical properties and potentially form more abstract concepts of properties such as weight and rigidity. Whether animals can apply the information learned during their exploration to solve novel problems, however, and whether they actually change their exploratory behavior to seek functional information about objects have not been fully explored. We allowed kea (Nestor notabilis) and New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides) to explore sets of novel objects both before and after encountering a task in which some of the objects could function as tools. Following this, subjects were given test trials in which they could choose among the objects they had explored to solve a tool-use task. Several individuals from both species performed above chance on these test trials, and only did so after exploring the objects, compared with a control experiment with no prior exploration phase. These results suggest that selection of functional tools may be guided by information acquired during exploration. Neither kea nor crows changed the duration or quality of their exploration after learning that the objects had a functional relevance, suggesting that birds do not adjust their behavior to explicitly seek this information.

(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
Cognition, Corvid, Object play, Object properties, Parrot, Tool use
in
Royal Society Open Science
volume
4
issue
9
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • scopus:85030263987
  • wos:000412168900041
ISSN
2054-5703
DOI
10.1098/rsos.170652
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
aa6541f4-43c9-4024-bd62-d84dedbb6bbc
date added to LUP
2017-11-28 12:44:35
date last changed
2018-01-16 13:26:43
@article{aa6541f4-43c9-4024-bd62-d84dedbb6bbc,
  abstract     = {<p>A range of non-human animals frequently manipulate and explore objects in their environment, which may enable them to learn about physical properties and potentially form more abstract concepts of properties such as weight and rigidity. Whether animals can apply the information learned during their exploration to solve novel problems, however, and whether they actually change their exploratory behavior to seek functional information about objects have not been fully explored. We allowed kea (Nestor notabilis) and New Caledonian crows (Corvus moneduloides) to explore sets of novel objects both before and after encountering a task in which some of the objects could function as tools. Following this, subjects were given test trials in which they could choose among the objects they had explored to solve a tool-use task. Several individuals from both species performed above chance on these test trials, and only did so after exploring the objects, compared with a control experiment with no prior exploration phase. These results suggest that selection of functional tools may be guided by information acquired during exploration. Neither kea nor crows changed the duration or quality of their exploration after learning that the objects had a functional relevance, suggesting that birds do not adjust their behavior to explicitly seek this information.</p>},
  articleno    = {170652},
  author       = {Lambert, Megan L. and Schiestl, Martina and Schwing, Raoul and Taylor, Alex H. and Gajdon, Gyula K. and Slocombe, Katie E. and Seed, Amanda M.},
  issn         = {2054-5703},
  keyword      = {Cognition,Corvid,Object play,Object properties,Parrot,Tool use},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {09},
  number       = {9},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Royal Society Open Science},
  title        = {Function and flexibility of object exploration in kea and new caledonian crows},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.170652},
  volume       = {4},
  year         = {2017},
}