Tests for cognitive mapping in Clark's nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana)

Brett M. Gibson, Alan C. Kamil

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Abstract

In these experiments, the authors examined the nature of the spatial information that Clark's nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana) use during navigation and whether this information is represented in the form of a cognitive map. In Experiment 1, nutcrackers were able to use distal cues to locate a small hidden goal. In Experiments 2 and 3, nutcrackers were given the opportunity to develop a map of a room by viewing local subsets of the landmarks in the room at a goal during training. During transfer tests, nutcrackers were presented with a landmark panorama that was not previously seen at the goal. Of 3 nutcrackers that had learned the relationship between distal cues and the goal, 3 were able to locate the goal during transfer, indicating they may have developed a cognitive map. Experiments 4 and 5 suggest that the simpler mechanism of vector integration may have been used by some nutcrackers during the transfer tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-417
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Comparative Psychology
Volume115
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2001

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)

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