A model for the evolution of intelligence

April 16, 2024

When certain species of wild birds and primates discover new ways of finding food in the wild, it can serve to measure their flexibility and intelligence. They also studied two other cognitive traits but did not find them to be associated with innovation rate in the wild. The results of the study – which included 203 individual animals from 15 species, 13 of which were wild-caught – integrate observational studies of animal intelligence in the wild and experimental studies in captivity. “Our results provide an effective way to study innovations in the lab using appropriate behavioral tasks in controlled conditions, allowing future investigations on their precise neurobiological, psychological, and ecological underpinnings,” said Audet. “We now have a more valid model to study the evolution of intelligence.”About the studyProblem-solving skills are predicted by technical innovations in the wild and brain size in Passerines by Jean-Nicolas Audet, Louis Lefebvre et al., was published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

When certain species of wild birds and primates discover new ways of finding food in the wild, it can serve to measure their flexibility and intelligence.

In the largest experimental study ever conducted on this topic, a team of researchers from Rockefeller University headed by postdoctoral fellow Jean-Nicolas Audet have shown, in collaboration with McGill’s Louis Lefebvre, that foraging problems requiring overcoming obstacles, such as removing the lid off a container of food, are the only predictors of brain size and innovative behaviour in the wild.

They also studied two other cognitive traits but did not find them to be associated with innovation rate in the wild.

The results of the study – which included 203 individual animals from 15 species, 13 of which were wild-caught – integrate observational studies of animal intelligence in the wild and experimental studies in captivity.

“Our results provide an effective way to study innovations in the lab using appropriate behavioral tasks in controlled conditions, allowing future investigations on their precise neurobiological, psychological, and ecological underpinnings,” said Audet. “We now have a more valid model to study the evolution of intelligence.”

About the study

Problem-solving skills are predicted by technical innovations in the wild and brain size in Passerines by Jean-Nicolas Audet, Louis Lefebvre et al., was published in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

The source of this news is from Mc Gill University

Popular in Research

1

May 13, 2024

For MIT students, there is much to learn from crafting a chair

2

4 days ago

Putin ‘launches space weapon’ while his forces carry out nuke drill near Ukraine

3

May 19, 2024

Persistent “hiccups” in a far-off galaxy draw astronomers to new black hole behavior

4

1 week ago

“Life is short, so aim high”

5

May 13, 2024

HKUST Researchers Develop Revolutionary Biomimetic Olfactory Chips to Enable Advanced Gas Sensing and Odor Detection | The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

'General Hospital' Actor Johnny Wactor Shot, Killed During Robbery Attempt

9 hours ago

Kari Lake Blasts Abortion Ban She Once Was ‘Thrilled’ About

1 day ago

Trump is about to go on trial in New York. Here's what to expect

9 hours ago

How Donald Trump Still Lives in the 1980s

1 day ago

COOL COURSE: Teaching Tech to Artists Gives them ‘Magic Power’

1 day ago

For Julie Greenberg, a career of research, mentoring, and advocacy

1 day ago