Monday, June 16, 2008

A Pigeon Looking at a Painting

Scientists in Keio University in Japan have discovered that Pigeons are as smart as 3-year-old children.

At Prof. Shigeru Watanabe’s laboratory, pigeons could discriminate paintings of a certain painter (such as Van Gogh) from another painter (such as Chagall). Furthermore, pigeons could discriminate other pigeons individually, and also discriminate stimulated pigeons that were given stimulant drugs from none. In this experiment, pigeons could discriminate video images that reflect their movements even with a 5-7 second delay from video images that don’t reflect their movements. This ability is higher than an average 3-year-old human. According to a research by Prof. Hiraki of the University of Tokyo, 3-year-olds have difficulty recognizing their self-image with only a 2 second delay." - Primidi (blog)

The next experiment will involve pigeons and children going head-to-head.

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