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Polygence Scholar2023
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Ansley Smoll

Class of 2024Bar Nunn, WY



  • "Corvid Cognition In Terms Of Working Memory and Reasoning" with mentor Ankita (June 5, 2023)

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Corvid Cognition In Terms Of Working Memory and Reasoning

Started Nov. 28, 2022

Abstract or project description

Despite the drastic anatomical difference between primate and corvid brains, the animals share many similarities (and often rival each other in skill) when it comes to cognitive capabilities and behaviors. Corvids have repeatedly displayed signs of advanced cognitive ability once believed to only have existed in primates such as monkeys and apes, and are considered the problem solvers of the avian world. Corvids are renowned for their ability to perform delayed-response tasks (which indicates a high capacity for working memory, similar to that of primates). Corvids have also shown. In addition, when tested on trap-tube and trap-table paradigms corvids show causal and analogical reasoning, often beyond the ability of their primate counterparts. These primate-like abilities stem from the nidopallium caudolaterale, a part of the corvid brain that is functionally (if not structurally) similar to the prefrontal cortex found in primates. Here we review the similarities in cognitive capability between corvids and primates, using the indicators of working memory and causal/analogical reasoning. This information could help us better understand exactly how human-level cognition came to be, and how similar to us our non-primate relatives really are.