Western scrub-jays do not appear to attend to functionality in Aesop’s Fable experiments
- Subject Areas
- Animal Behavior, Zoology
- Western scrub-jay, Aesop's Fable, Comparative cognition, Flexible behavior, Non-caching paradigm
- © 2015 Logan et al.
- This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ PrePrints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
- Cite this article
- 2015. Western scrub-jays do not appear to attend to functionality in Aesop’s Fable experiments. PeerJ PrePrints 3:e1616v1 https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.1616v1
Western scrub-jays are known for their highly discriminatory and flexible behaviors in a caching (food storing) context. However, it is unknown whether their cognitive abilities are restricted to a caching context. To explore this question, we tested scrub-jays in a non-caching context using the Aesop’s Fable paradigm, where a partially filled tube of water contains a floating food reward and objects must be inserted to displace the water and bring the food within reach. We found that scrub-jays did not attend to the functional properties of objects or tubes, and were not motivated to participate in these experiments, suggesting that either this paradigm was ecologically irrelevant or perhaps their flexibility is restricted to a caching context.
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Choice order across all 20 trials per individual in each experiment
The order in which the more functional choices (dark gray: water, heavy, light, rewarded color, connected) or less functional choices (light gray: sand, light, heavy, unrewarded color, unconnected) were chosen (columns) and whether the bird successfully obtained the food (marked with an X) for trials 1-20 (rows).