Tagged With animal cognition

From a young age, human children learn that a rattle won't make a noise until it's shaken, and that placing fingers on a hot stove is a terrible idea. New research suggests that wolves, like humans, have a knack for identifying these kinds of cause-and-effect relationships, but that domesticated dogs do not. This finding suggests that domestication may have debilitated doggie brains, but there are other possible factors to consider as well.

Regrettably, none of us will get to be cats. Most of us will never write a published physics paper either, let alone a highly respected one. But somehow, in the 1970s, a phenomenal feline named Chester managed to do all of this under the tutelage of his human, physicist Jack H. Hetherington. He even had a pawesome pen name -- F.D.C. Willard. Yes, really.

By using a message board with three icons, scientists have shown that horses can use symbolic language to convey their preferences. They now join an elite group of animals that exhibit communications once thought exclusive to humans. Others in the group include primates, dolphins and pigeons.

Migratory birds can glide over very long distances with minimal wing-flapping, thanks to their strategic use of rising warm air currents. A new study has found that the birds use two basic sensory cues, combined with reinforcement learning algorithms (RLA), to navigate this turbulent environment.