Crow birds rival great apes in motor self-regulation

By 21 - Published 3 May 2016

New publication in Royal Society Open Science: "Ravens, New Caledonian crows and jackdaws parallel great apes in motor self-regulation despite smaller brains" by Can Kabadayi and Mathias Osvath from LUCS together with research colleagues Lucy Taylor at University of Oxford in UK and Auguste von Bayern at University of Oxford in UK and Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany.    The paper documents similarities between crow birds and great apes on a motor self-regulation task. The paper partly replicated a large-scale study conducted in 2014 that tested 36 species, mostly primates, which found a positive relationship between the motor self-regulation performance and the absolute brain size. Great apes performed the best in that study while the birds were under-represented with only seven species – and no birds from the Corvus genus were tested. Thus Kabadayi and colleagues tested three Corvus species, ravens, jackdaws, and New Caledonian crows, on the cylinder task and found that the Corvus species performed similarly to the great apes in this task despite having vastly smaller brain sizes. These results argue against the importance of the absolute brain size when it comes to inhibitory control – especially when comparing different taxa such as mammals and birds. Read more at: Huffpost Science & Lund University: News and Press Research paper: Royal Society Open Science Video: Lund University YouTube Channel
More (extract from the Lund University Communication Office, May 2, 2016): "[...] the story has done really well internationally, leading to hits in Huffington Post, a second hit in Daily Mail, Mirror UK, National Geographic Spain, Science World Report, Wired UK, Western Daily Press, UPI, TechTimes, RedOrbit, Global News Canada,. It is also making its rounds in France, Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Greece, Turkey, Indian, Indonesia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia and even all the way down to New Zeeland. It has been especially popular in both Spain and in Russia with almost 46 media hits in the latter.    The video has been viewed 22.000 times and has now also been published on our own Facebook channel [...]"