Mechanisms Underlying String-Pulling Behaviour in Green-Winged Macaw

Gaycken, Jana and Picken, Andrew and Pike, Tom and Burman, Oliver and Wilkinson, Anna (2019) Mechanisms Underlying String-Pulling Behaviour in Green-Winged Macaw. Behavior . ISSN 0005-7959

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Mechanisms Underlying String-Pulling Behaviour in Green-Winged Macaw

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Abstract

The string-pulling test is a classic test of physical cognition which is thought to examine an animal’s understanding of means-end comprehension, but may also result from trial and error learning. Here, we presented Green-winged macaws (Ara chloroptera) with a standard pull-up, and an alternative, pull-down, string pulling test to better understand the processes involved. Birds were divided into two groups: the experimental group were presented with the classic pull-up test and, upon completion, with the pull-down test, while the control group were only presented with the pull-down test. Six experimental birds solved the pull-up test, although none successfully completed the pull-down test; however, birds from the experimental group made significantly more pull-down actions than those from the control group. Together with previous findings on string-pulling behaviour in green-winged macaws, the results from the present study suggest that string-pulling behaviour in this species does not involve means-end understanding.

Additional Information:The final published version can be accessed online at http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/1568539x-00003520
Keywords:means-end comprehension, operant conditioning, parrot, string pulling
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C300 Zoology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:33366
Deposited On:29 Oct 2018 11:04

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