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Light drinking may protect brain function
on June 30, 2020 at 4:51 pm
Light to moderate drinking may preserve brain function in older age, according to a new study.
In the wild, chimpanzees are more motivated to cooperate than bonobos
on June 24, 2020 at 2:00 pm
Scientists investigated cooperation dynamics in wild chimpanzees (Tai, Ivory Coast) and bonobos (LuiKotale, DCR) using a snake model. While chimpanzees cooperate to defend their territory, bonobos do not. The study reveals no differences in both species' social intelligence but supports theories linking territoriality and in-group cooperation in humans since chimpanzees were more motivated to cooperate by informing others of a threat as compared to bonobos.
Baboon model could aide in Alzheimer's disease interventions
on June 11, 2020 at 1:41 pm
Scientists recently published findings indicating the baboon could prove to be a relevant model to test therapeutics and interventions for neurodegenerative diseases, such as early stage Alzheimer's and related dementias.
Extended parenting helps young birds grow smarter
on June 1, 2020 at 12:03 am
The current study analyzes social and life-history data from several thousand songbirds, including 127 corvids, the family that includes jays, crows, ravens, and magpies. Results show that corvids are unusual in having larger brains and 'extended childhoods,' where parents provide the young with a safe haven to learn and practice skills they need to survive as adults. These findings shed light on how extended parenting in humans facilitated the evolution of our extraordinarily large brains.
Origins of human language pathway in the brain at least 25 million years old
on April 20, 2020 at 4:55 pm
The human language pathway in the brain has been identified by scientists as being at least 25 million years old -- 20 million years older than previously thought.
Diet may help preserve cognitive function
on April 14, 2020 at 12:43 pm
According to a recent analysis of data from two major eye disease studies, adherence to the Mediterranean diet - high in vegetables, whole grains, fish, and olive oil -- correlates with higher cognitive function.
Does consuming fruit during pregnancy improve cognition in babies?
on March 4, 2020 at 7:17 pm
A new study explores in greater depth the effect on infant cognition of drinking fruit juice while pregnant.
Bees recognize that six is more than four
on March 2, 2020 at 3:37 pm
A new study at the University of Cologne proves that insects can perform basic numerical cognition tasks. Their neuronal network can also be used to perform successful machine learning.
Researchers Were Not Right About Left Brains, Study Suggests
on February 14, 2020 at 7:43 pm
Brain imprints on cranial bones from great apes and humans refute the long-held notion that the human pattern of brain asymmetry is unique, according to new research.
Elephants' unique interactions with their dead
on February 6, 2020 at 11:43 pm
Stories of unique and sentient interactions between elephants and their dead are a familiar part of the species' lore, but a comprehensive study of these interactions has been lacking -- until now. A recent review of documented field observations of elephants at carcasses reveals patterns of elephants' behavior toward their dead, regardless of the strength of former relationships with the deceased individual.
Early life experiences biologically and functionally mature the brain
on February 3, 2020 at 4:43 pm
Experiences early in life have an impact on the brain's biological and functional development, shows a new study by a team of neuroscientists.
Strongly 'handed' squirrels less good at learning
on January 20, 2020 at 4:34 pm
Squirrels that strongly favor their left or right side are less good at learning, new research suggests.
New dog, old tricks? Stray dogs can understand human cues
on January 17, 2020 at 1:08 pm
Pet dogs are highly receptive to commands from their owners. But is this due to their training or do dogs have an innate ability to understand human signals? A new study finds that 80% of untrained stray dogs successfully followed pointing directions from people to a specific location. The results suggest that dogs can understand and respond to complex gestures without any training, meaning that dogs may have an innate connection to human behaviors.
How zebra finches learn to sing
on January 15, 2020 at 5:06 pm
Complex learning processes like speaking or singing follow similar patterns. Using the example of zebra finches, researchers have investigated how young birds imitate the courtship songs of their fathers and practice them thousands of times. The study has revealed what aspects of the song are remembered overnight, and that sleep allows the bird to optimally build upon the progress made on the previous day.
African grey parrots spontaneously 'lend a wing'
on January 9, 2020 at 6:01 pm
People and other great apes are known for their willingness to help others in need, even strangers. Now, researchers have shown for the first time that some birds -- and specifically African grey parrots -- are similarly helpful.
Dogs process numerical quantities in similar brain region as humans
on December 18, 2019 at 8:33 pm
The results of a new canine numerosity study suggests that a common neural mechanism has been deeply conserved across mammalian evolution.
Crows consciously control their calls
on August 27, 2019 at 6:57 pm
Crows can voluntarily control the release and onset of their calls, suggesting that songbird vocalizations are under cognitive control.
Understanding the animal brain could help robots wash your dishes
on August 21, 2019 at 9:37 pm
Neuroscientists show how evolution and animal brains can be a rich source of inspiration for machine learning, especially to help AI tackle some enormously difficult problems, like doing the dishes.
Studying animal cognition in the wild
on August 20, 2019 at 2:15 pm
Studying cognition in the wild is a challenge. Field researchers and their study animals face many factors that can easily interfere with their variables of interest and that many say are 'impossible' to control for. A novel observational approach for field research can now guide young scholars, who want to study cognition in the field before this opportunity disappears.
Three concepts from complexity could play a big role in social animal research
on August 1, 2019 at 7:27 pm
A new article lays out three concepts from complex systems science that could advance studies into animal social complexity.