Clark's nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana) were trained to search in a location defined by its geometric relationship to 2 landmarks. Two groups were trained to search at different points along the line connecting the landmarks, and 2 groups were trained to find the 3rd point of a triangle, on the basis of either direction or distance from the landmarks. All groups learned and transferred to new interlandmark distances. However, the constant-distance group learned more slowly, searched less accurately, and showed less transfer than the other 3 groups. When tested with new orientations of the landmarks, the birds tended to follow small but not large rotations. When tested with a single landmark, birds in the half, quarter, and constant-bearing groups searched in the appropriate direction from the landmark, but birds in the distance group did not. These results demonstrate that nutcrackers can learn a variety of geometric principles, that directional information may be weighted more heavily than distance information, and that the birds can use both absolute and relative information about spatial relationships.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes|
|State||Published - Oct 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology