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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.
An AI technology to reveal the characteristics of animal behavior only from the trajectory
on July 16, 2019 at 1:55 pm
Recording the movements of people and animals has become easy because of small GPS devices and video cameras. However, the reasons for such movements remain difficult to infer. Scientists have developed a flexible artificial intelligence technology to understand the movement of animals, ranging from roundworms in petri dishes to penguins in the Antarctic Ocean. This method may make it easier to understand animal movements as well as their underlying brain activities.
Environment, not evolution, might underlie some human-ape differences
on July 15, 2019 at 1:48 pm
Apes' abilities have been unfairly measured, throwing into doubt the assumed belief that human infants are superior to adult chimpanzees, according to a new study by leaders in the field of ape cognition.
How octopus arms make decisions
on June 25, 2019 at 2:24 pm
Researchers studying the behavior and neuroscience of octopuses have long suspected that the animals' arms may have minds of their own. A new model is the first attempt at a comprehensive representation of information flow between the octopus's suckers, arms and brain, based on previous research in octopus neuroscience and behavior, and new video observations conducted in the lab.
Bees can link symbols to numbers, study finds
on June 5, 2019 at 9:14 pm
We know bees get the concept of zero and can do basic math. Now researchers have discovered they may also be capable of connecting symbols to numbers. It's a finding that sheds new light on how numerical abilities may have evolved over millennia and even opens new possibilities for communication between humans and other species.
What makes memories stronger?
on April 29, 2019 at 3:18 pm
Scientists have found that highly demanding and rewarding experiences result in stronger memories. By studying navigation in rats, the researchers traced back the mechanism behind this selective memory enhancement to so-called replay processes in the hippocampus, the memory-processing center of the brain.
Researchers discover the source of new neurons in brain's hippocampus
on March 28, 2019 at 7:08 pm
Researchers have shown, in mice, that one type of stem cell that makes adult neurons is the source of this lifetime stock of new cells in the hippocampus. These findings may help neuroscientists figure out how to maintain youthful conditions for learning and memory, and repair and regenerate parts of the brain after injury and aging.
Wildlife tourism may negatively affect African elephants' behavior
on March 20, 2019 at 2:20 pm
Increasing numbers of tourists are interested in observing wildlife such as African elephants, and income generated from tourism potentially aids in the protection of animals and their habitats. However, a new study reveals that wildlife tourism may be a stressor for free-ranging elephants.
Fish Appear to Recognize Themselves in the Mirror
on February 7, 2019 at 7:22 pm
The cleaner wrasse fish (Labroides dimidiatus), responds to its reflection and attempts to remove marks on its body during the mirror test -- a method considered the gold standard for determining self-awareness in animals. The finding suggests that fish might possess far higher cognitive powers than previously thought, and ignites a high-stakes debate over how we assess the intelligence of animals that are so unlike ourselves.
Bees can do basic arithmetic
on February 7, 2019 at 1:03 am
Researchers set out to test whether bees could do math, building on a groundbreaking finding that bees understand the concept of zero. The new study shows bees can be taught to recognize colors as symbolic representations for addition and subtraction, and use this information to solve arithmetic problems. The revelation that even the miniature brain of a honeybee can grasp basic mathematical operations has implications for the future development of AI.
Do bigger brains equal smarter dogs? New study offers answers
on January 29, 2019 at 2:37 pm
Larger dogs have better short-term memory and self-control than smaller breeds, according to new research.
Bees can count with small number of nerve cells in their brains, research suggests
on December 21, 2018 at 5:37 pm
Bees can solve seemingly clever counting tasks with very small numbers of nerve cells in their brains, according to researchers.