Three researchers at the University of Auckland have found that New Zealand parrots are smart enough to use touch screens, but not smart enough to understand the difference between virtual and real images.In their treatise published in the journal Biology letter, Amalia Bastos, Patrick Wood, and Alex Taylor describe a variety of experiments conducted with endangered birds.
New Zealand parrots are well known in New Zealand for their intelligence and inquisitiveness. For example, it is known to swipe a wiper from a car or scrape a tourist’s luggage to steal a passport. Sadly, they are at risk due to lead intake from human sources and other interactions with humans, such as wandering in traffic. In this new initiative, researchers wondered if they could understand the difference between what the bird actually sees and what it sees on the computer screen. To investigate, they conducted experiments with several birds housed in the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve in Christchurch.
The experiment began by teaching some birds to use their tongue to manipulate objects on a computer screen. Their beaks are made of non-conductive keratin. Therefore, you cannot activate the touch screen.Then they tested the birds for their ability to understand simple games — they ball Tilt the table on the table and drop the balls into the boxes on both sides of the table. Then I challenged the bird to identify which box was holding the ball. Birds mastered the game quickly and easily.
The researchers then virtually duplicated the experiment on a computer screen. Again, the bird could easily choose the right box.But if the researcher uses a virtual table and a virtual ball and there are real boxes on either side of it computer, NS bird Confused — they apparently expected the virtual ball to fall from the virtual table into the actual box. Researchers said similar studies conducted on babies show that humans, regardless of age, can distinguish what is real and what is virtual.
Amalia PM Bastos and others, are parrots naive realists? Kea behaves as if the real world and the virtual world are continuous. Biology letter (2021). DOI: 10.1098 / rsbl.2021.0298
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New Zealand parrots are smart enough to use touch screens, but they can’t distinguish between the real world and the virtual world
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