The performance of ravens on simple discrimination tasks: a preliminary study
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- Range, F., Bugnyar, T. & Kotrschal, K. acta ethol (2008) 11: 34. doi:10.1007/s10211-008-0039-0
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Recent studies suggest the existence of primate-like cognitive abilities in corvids. Although the learning abilities of corvids in comparison to other species have been investigated before, little is known on how corvids perform on simple discrimination tasks if tested in experimental settings comparable to those that have been used for studying complex cognitive abilities. In this study, we tested a captive group of 12 ravens (Corvus corax) on four discrimination problems and their reversals. In contrast to other studies investigating learning abilities, our ravens were not food deprived and participation in experiments was voluntary. This preliminary study showed that all ravens successfully solved feature and position discriminations and several of the ravens could solve new tasks in a few trials, making very few mistakes.