Animal Intelligence

Animal Learning and Intelligence News -- ScienceDaily Read about the latest research on animal learning and intelligence, including studies on elephants, apes, birds and dogs.

  • Are smarter animals bigger troublemakers?
    on June 18, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    A new paper examines whether smarter animals might be better at learning to live in cities -- but, at the same time, also may come into more conflict with humans. […]

  • Bees understand the concept of zero
    on June 7, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Scientists have discovered honeybees can understand the concept of zero, putting them in an elite club of clever animals that can grasp the abstract mathematical notion of nothing. […]

  • Human encouragement might influence how dogs solve problems
    on June 6, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    A new study sheds light on how people influence animal behavior. Researchers evaluated the behavior of search and rescue dogs and pet dogs when presented with the same problem-solving task. Both sets of dogs persisted at the task for about the same proportion of time, but the search and rescue dogs were more successful at solving the task when encouraged by their owners. […]

  • Dogs can be a potential risk for future influenza pandemic
    on June 5, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Dogs are a potential reservoir for a future influenza pandemic, according to a new study. The study demonstrated that influenza virus can jump from pigs into canines and that influenza is becoming increasingly diverse in canines. […]

  • Optimal age of puppy cuteness optimized
    on May 15, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    Canine researchers reveals more about the depth and origin of the human-dog relationship. […]

  • Neuroscientists find first evidence animals can mentally replay past events
    on May 10, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Researchers have reported the first evidence that non-human animals can mentally replay past events from memory. The discovery could help improve the development of drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease by providing a way to study memory in animals that more closely addresses how memory works in people. […]

  • Scientists teach computers how to analyze brain cells
    on April 12, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    In the early days of neuroscience research, scientists painstakingly stained brain cells and drew by hand what they saw in a microscope. Fast forward to 2018 and machines may be able to learn how to do that work. According to a new study, it may be possible to teach machines how to pick out features in neurons and other cells that have not been stained or undergone other damaging treatments. […]

  • Lessons from lemurs: To make friends, show off your smarts
    on April 5, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Researchers show that clever lemurs -- some of our earliest primate relatives -- gain social standing as the result of their problem-solving skills. […]

  • Who's smarter in the classroom -- men or women?
    on April 4, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    A first-of-its-kind study shows that in the college biology classroom, men perceive themselves as smarter, even when compared to women whose grades demonstrate they are just as accomplished. The study shows that gender greatly impacts students' perceptions of their own intelligence, particularly when they compare themselves to others. […]

  • Brain genes related to innovation revealed in birds
    on March 14, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    Wild birds that are more clever than others at foraging for food have different levels of a neurotransmitter receptor that has been linked with intelligence in humans, according to a new study. The findings could provide insight into the evolutionary mechanisms affecting cognitive traits in a range of animals. […]

  • Ball or stuffed toy -- Do dogs 'know' what they're smelling?
    on March 5, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Dogs' excellent sense of smell is well-known, whether it is in the context of searching for people or for contraband substances. However, the question of how dogs understand what they perceive with their sense of smell has largely been unexplored. Scientists have now found evidence that dogs create a 'mental representation' of the target when they track a scent trail. […]

  • Virtual predator is 'self-aware', behaves like living counterpart
    on March 1, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Scientists report that they've built an artificially intelligent ocean predator that behaves a lot like the original flesh-and-blood organism on which it was modeled. The virtual creature, 'Cyberslug,' reacts to food and responds to members of its own kind much like the actual animal, the sea slug Pleurobranchaea californica, does. […]

  • Chimpanzee self-control is related to intelligence
    on February 8, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    As is true in humans, chimpanzees' general intelligence is correlated to their ability to exert self-control and delay gratification, according to new research. […]

  • Large-group living boosts magpie intelligence
    on February 7, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Growing up in a large social group makes Australian magpies more intelligent, new research shows. […]

  • Brain training for old dogs: Could touchscreen games become the Sudoku of man’s best friend?
    on February 7, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Spoiling old dogs in their twilight years by retiring them to the sofa and forgiving them their stubbornness or disobedience, doesn’t do our four-legged friends any good. Regular brain training and lifelong learning create positive emotions and can slow down mental deterioration in old age. Physical limitations, however, often do not allow the same sort of training as used in young dogs. In a new study, a team of researchers led by cognitive biologists propose computer interaction as a practical alternative. In the training lab, old dogs responded positively to cognitive training using educational touchscreen games. […]

  • Blueberry vinegar improves memory in mice with amnesia
    on December 20, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Dementia affects millions of people worldwide, robbing them of their ability to think, remember and live as they once did. In the search for new ways to fight cognitive decline, scientists report that blueberry vinegar might offer some help. They found that the fermented product could restore cognitive function in mice. […]

  • Pigeons can discriminate both space, time
    on December 4, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    Pigeons aren't so bird-brained after all. New research shows that pigeons can discriminate the abstract concepts of space and time, likely using a different region of the brain than humans and primates to do so. […]

  • Dogs mouth-lick to communicate with angry humans
    on November 28, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    New research has found that dogs lick their mouths as a response to looking at angry human faces, suggesting that domestic canines may have a functional understanding of emotional information. […]

  • Cool lizards are better at learning socially
    on November 22, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Bearded dragons which are incubated in colder environments are better at solving cognitive tasks as adults than incubated in warmer temperatures, according to new research. Scientists tested the social learning abilities of bearded dragons which had been incubated in either an average of 30°C or 27°C and found that those from the colder incubation environment picked up new skills faster than their hotter counterparts. […]

  • Smiling human faces are attractive to dogs, thanks to oxytocin
    on November 20, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Researchers found that oxytocin made dogs interested in smiling human faces. It also made them see angry faces as less threatening. Associated with affection and trust, the hormone oxytocin is probably a key factor in the interaction between dogs and humans. […]

  • Sheep are able to recognize human faces from photographs
    on November 8, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Sheep can be trained to recognise human faces from photographic portraits -- and can even identify the picture of their handler without prior training -- according to new research. […]

  • Chimpanzees shown spontaneously 'taking turns' to solve number puzzle
    on November 1, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    A new study has shown chimpanzees spontaneously taking turns to complete a number sequencing task. […]

  • Dogs are more expressive when someone is looking
    on October 19, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Dogs produce more facial expressions when humans are looking at them, according to new research. […]

  • Whales and dolphins have rich 'human-like' cultures and societies
    on October 16, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Whales and dolphins (cetaceans) live in tightly-knit social groups, have complex relationships, talk to each other and even have regional dialects -- much like human societies. A major new study has linked the complexity of Cetacean culture and behavior to the size of their brains. […]

  • Kune Kune piglets possess social learning skills and have an astonishingly good memory
    on October 11, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Pigs are socially competent and capable of learning. But the combination of these skills, learning by observing others, has been insufficiently studied so far. Exact copying and understanding of demonstrated actions -- highly developed learning abilities -- could not be proven. A new study with Kune Kune pigs, has now shown for the first time that pigs do learn from each other. The intelligent animals also possess remarkable long-term memory after internalizing a technique. […]

  • Bumblebees shed light on why some individuals are smarter than others
    on October 4, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    By examining the brains of bees trained to different tasks, the researchers found that the number of connections between nerve cells may hold the answer to questions about individual cognitive differences. Bees with a greater density of nerve connections (known as synaptic complexes) in a specific part of their brains had better memories and learned faster than bees with fewer connections in these areas. […]

  • Raccoons solve an ancient puzzle, but do they really understand it?
    on September 29, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Scientists have been using an ancient Greek fable written by Aesop as inspiration to test whether birds and small children understand cause and effect relationships. A group of scientists have now extended this body of work to study raccoon intelligence. Their research uses the Aesop's Fable paradigm to assess if mammalian carnivores understand the principles of water displacement. […]

  • Clever cockatoos bend hooks into straight wire to fish for food
    on September 6, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Bending of a hook into wire to fish for the handle of a basket by crow Betty 15 years ago stunned the scientific world. Cognitive biologists studied tool making in an Indonesian cockatoo. Other than crows, cockatoos are not using tools in the wild. The birds manufactured hook tools out of straight wire without ever having seen or used a hook tool before. […]

  • The sniff test of self-recognition confirmed: Dogs have self-awareness
    on September 5, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    A new research study used a sniff-test to evaluate the ability of dogs to recognize themselves. The experiment confirms the hypothesis of dogs' self-cognition proposed last year. […]

  • Apes' abilities misunderstood by decades of poor science
    on August 31, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Hundreds of scientific studies over two decades have told us that apes are clever -- just not as clever as us. New analysis argues that what we think we know about apes' social intelligence is based on wishful thinking and flawed science. […]