Document Detail

What-where-when memory in magpies (Pica pica).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18670793     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Some animals have been shown to be able to remember which type of food they hoarded or encountered in which location and how long ago (what-where-when memory). In this study, we test whether magpies (Pica pica) also show evidence of remembering these different aspects of a past episode. Magpies hid red- and blue-dyed pellets of scrambled eggs in a large tray containing wood shavings. They were allowed to make as many caches as they wanted. The birds were then returned either the same day or the next day to retrieve the pellets. If they returned the same day, one colour of pellets was replaced with wooden beads of similar size and colour, while if they returned the next day this would happen to the other colour. Over just a few trials, the birds learned to only search for the food pellets, and ignore the beads, of the appropriate colour for the given retention interval. A probe trial in which all items were removed showed that the birds persisted in searching for the pellets and not the beads. This shows that magpies can remember which food item they hoarded where, and when, even if the food items only differ from each other in their colour and are dispersed throughout a continuous caching substrate.
Ann Zinkivskay; Farrah Nazir; Tom V Smulders
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2008-08-01
Journal Detail:
Title:  Animal cognition     Volume:  12     ISSN:  1435-9456     ISO Abbreviation:  Anim Cogn     Publication Date:  2009 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-01-14     Completed Date:  2009-05-08     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9814573     Medline TA:  Anim Cogn     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  119-25     Citation Subset:  IM    
Centre for Behaviour and Evolution, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Henry Wellcome Building for Neuroecology, Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4HH, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Association Learning*
Color Perception
Discrimination Learning*
Recognition (Psychology)*
Retention (Psychology)*
Spatial Behavior
Grant Support
BBS/S/H/2005/12030//Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

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