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WIREs Cogn Sci
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Corvid cognition

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Numerous myths and legends across the world have suggested that corvids are intelligent. However, it is only in the last two decades that their cognition has become the subject of serious scientific investigation. Here I review what we currently know about the temporal, social, and physical cognition of this group. I argue that, while the work to date establishes corvids as one of the most intelligent groups of animals on the planet, the real scientific potential of the Corvidae has yet to be realized. However, a novel ‘signature‐testing’ experimental approach is required if we want to unlock this group's promise and gain insights into the evolution of human and animal minds. This article is categorized under: Cognitive Biology > Evolutionary Roots of Cognition Psychology > Comparative Psychology
Examples of complex behaviors in the Corvidae. From left to right: a Clark's nutcracker caching (Photo credit Dave McShaffrey), a New Caledonian crow with a hook tool (Photo credit Gavin Hunt), and rooks bill‐twining after a fight (Photo credit Julia Leijola).
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Experimental outline of reasoning about hidden causal agents study in New Caledonian crows. Crows infer that the movement of this stick is caused by the hidden human and so that the stick will not move again when the human leaves.
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Experimental outline of desire attribution study in Eurasian jays.
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Experimental outline of planning for two future desire states study in Eurasian jays. Note on any one trial a jay would receive either the conditions on the left or the right column of the diagram.
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Psychology > Comparative Psychology
Cognitive Biology > Evolutionary Roots of Cognition

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