Problem solving capabilities of peach-fronted conures (Eupsittula aurea) studied with the string-pulling test

Sara Torres Ortiz*, Alyssa Maxwell, Anastasia Krasheninnikova, Magnus Wahlberg, Ole Næsbye Larsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The problem-solving capabilities of four small parrots (peach-fronted conures, Eupsittula aurea) were investigated using string-pulling tests. In seven different tasks, one string was baited following a randomized order. The parrots could retrieve the food reward after a wrong choice as the choice was not forced. Additionally, we applied a non-intuitive pulley task with the strings arranged in front of, instead of below the birds. All four parrots performed very well in the multiple, slanted, and broken string tasks, but all failed in the crossed-string task. Only two parrots solved the single pulley task. All four parrots performed successfully in the multiple pulley task but all failed in the broken pulley condition. Our results suggest that peach-fronted conures solve string-pulling tasks without relying on simple proximity based rules, but that they have evolved cognitive abilities enabling goal-directedness, the understanding of functionality, and a concept of connectedness between two objects.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBehaviour
Volume156
Issue number5-8
Pages (from-to)815-846
ISSN0005-7959
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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parrots
peaches
testing
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Keywords

  • cognition
  • means-end understanding
  • parrots
  • pulley

Cite this

@article{78cdf69d0f164b529fea3dab664b2cac,
title = "Problem solving capabilities of peach-fronted conures (Eupsittula aurea) studied with the string-pulling test",
abstract = "The problem-solving capabilities of four small parrots (peach-fronted conures, Eupsittula aurea) were investigated using string-pulling tests. In seven different tasks, one string was baited following a randomized order. The parrots could retrieve the food reward after a wrong choice as the choice was not forced. Additionally, we applied a non-intuitive pulley task with the strings arranged in front of, instead of below the birds. All four parrots performed very well in the multiple, slanted, and broken string tasks, but all failed in the crossed-string task. Only two parrots solved the single pulley task. All four parrots performed successfully in the multiple pulley task but all failed in the broken pulley condition. Our results suggest that peach-fronted conures solve string-pulling tasks without relying on simple proximity based rules, but that they have evolved cognitive abilities enabling goal-directedness, the understanding of functionality, and a concept of connectedness between two objects.",
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author = "{Torres Ortiz}, Sara and Alyssa Maxwell and Anastasia Krasheninnikova and Magnus Wahlberg and Larsen, {Ole N{\ae}sbye}",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1163/1568539X-00003539",
language = "English",
volume = "156",
pages = "815--846",
journal = "Behaviour",
issn = "0005-7959",
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}

Problem solving capabilities of peach-fronted conures (Eupsittula aurea) studied with the string-pulling test. / Torres Ortiz, Sara; Maxwell, Alyssa; Krasheninnikova, Anastasia; Wahlberg, Magnus; Larsen, Ole Næsbye.

In: Behaviour, Vol. 156, No. 5-8, 2019, p. 815-846.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Problem solving capabilities of peach-fronted conures (Eupsittula aurea) studied with the string-pulling test

AU - Torres Ortiz, Sara

AU - Maxwell, Alyssa

AU - Krasheninnikova, Anastasia

AU - Wahlberg, Magnus

AU - Larsen, Ole Næsbye

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - The problem-solving capabilities of four small parrots (peach-fronted conures, Eupsittula aurea) were investigated using string-pulling tests. In seven different tasks, one string was baited following a randomized order. The parrots could retrieve the food reward after a wrong choice as the choice was not forced. Additionally, we applied a non-intuitive pulley task with the strings arranged in front of, instead of below the birds. All four parrots performed very well in the multiple, slanted, and broken string tasks, but all failed in the crossed-string task. Only two parrots solved the single pulley task. All four parrots performed successfully in the multiple pulley task but all failed in the broken pulley condition. Our results suggest that peach-fronted conures solve string-pulling tasks without relying on simple proximity based rules, but that they have evolved cognitive abilities enabling goal-directedness, the understanding of functionality, and a concept of connectedness between two objects.

AB - The problem-solving capabilities of four small parrots (peach-fronted conures, Eupsittula aurea) were investigated using string-pulling tests. In seven different tasks, one string was baited following a randomized order. The parrots could retrieve the food reward after a wrong choice as the choice was not forced. Additionally, we applied a non-intuitive pulley task with the strings arranged in front of, instead of below the birds. All four parrots performed very well in the multiple, slanted, and broken string tasks, but all failed in the crossed-string task. Only two parrots solved the single pulley task. All four parrots performed successfully in the multiple pulley task but all failed in the broken pulley condition. Our results suggest that peach-fronted conures solve string-pulling tasks without relying on simple proximity based rules, but that they have evolved cognitive abilities enabling goal-directedness, the understanding of functionality, and a concept of connectedness between two objects.

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