Document Detail

Ravens (Corvus corax) are indifferent to the gains of conspecific recipients or human partners in experimental tasks.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22890834     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Although cooperative behaviours are common in animals, the cognitive processes underpinning such behaviours are very likely to differ between species. In humans, other-regarding preferences have been proposed to sustain long-term cooperation between individuals. The extent to which such psychological capacities exist in other animals is still under investigation. Five hand-reared ravens were first tested in an experiment where they could provide food to a conspecific at no cost to themselves. We offered them two behavioural options that provided identical amounts of food to the actor and where one of the two options additionally delivered a reward to a recipient. Subsequently, we made the ravens play a no-cost cooperation game with an experimenter. The experimenter had the same options as the animals and matched the ravens' choices, making the prosocial choice the more profitable option. In both conditions, ravens were indifferent to the effects of their choices and hence failed to help conspecifics and to cooperate with the experimenter. While our negative results should be interpreted with care, overall, our findings suggest that the ravens had no understanding of the consequences of their actions for a potential recipient. This study adds to several others that have used a similar set-up and have reported negative results on other-regarding preferences in animals.
Felice Di Lascio; François Nyffeler; Redouan Bshary; Thomas Bugnyar
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-8-14
Journal Detail:
Title:  Animal cognition     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1435-9456     ISO Abbreviation:  Anim Cogn     Publication Date:  2012 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-8-14     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9814573     Medline TA:  Anim Cogn     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Institute of Biology, University of Neuchâtel, Emile-Argand 11, 2009, Neuchâtel, Switzerland,
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