Animals rarely solve problems spontaneously. Some bird species, however, can immediately find a solution to the string-pulling problem. They are able to rapidly gain access to food hung on the end of a long string by repeatedly pulling and then stepping on the string. It is currently unclear whether these spontaneous solutions are produced by insight or by a perceptual-motor feedback loop. Here, we presented New Caledonian crows and humans with a novel horizontal string-pulling task. While the humans succeeded, no individual crow showed a significant preference for the connected string, and all but one failed to gain the food even once. These results clearly show that string pulling in New Caledonian crows is generated not by insight, but by perceptual feedback. Animals can spontaneously solve problems without planning their actions.
Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research
Choose a citation style from the tabs below