What Do Jays Know About Other Minds and Other Times?
As humans, our thoughts are not “stuck in time.” Indeed, it is our ability to mentally dissociate ourselves from the present that allows us to recall the past and plan for our future (mental time travel). We can also reason about what others might be thinking (mental attribution) and thus dissociate ourselves from other selves. Many psychologists have argued that these two forms of mental projection into other times and other minds are unique to humans and that the six-layered prefrontal cortex is the necessary platform for such intelligence. Recent studies challenge these assumptions, however, and some of the most convincing evidence comes not from our closest relatives, the great apes, but from a surprisingly smart, large-brained bird, the western scrub-jay.
KeywordsPerishable Food Mental Time Travel Food Cache Avian Brain Cache Site
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