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PLOS Science Wednesday: Hi! I’m Corina Logan here to talk about my research on animal cognition, specifically how birds are able to adapt their behaviors to different situations — AMA!
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Hi Reddit, My name is Corina Logan and I am a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge. I study behavioral flexibility in birds: their ability to adapt their behavior to changing circumstances. I recently published a study titled “Modifications to the Aesop’s Fable paradigm change performances in New Caledonian crows” in PLOS ONE. My colleagues and I set out to understand how New Caledonian crows solve novel foraging problems involving a clear tube that is partially filled with water and contains a floating food reward. Dropping objects into the water to raise the water level and bring the food within reach solves the problem. We found that crows can discriminate between water volumes: they dropped more objects into the narrower tube rather than the wider tube when the initial water levels were the same in both tubes, and they switched their preference later when the wide tube became the functional option. Also, one crow appeared to inhibit attention to causal cues to learn to associate the color of one tube with receiving food in its adjacent tube. I will be available to answer your questions at 1pm ET (10am PT, 6pm GMT) so Ask me Anything! And don’t forget to follow me (and the birds!) on Twitter @LoganCorina.