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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2021

Authors: Bobrowicz, K; O'Hara, M; Carminito, C; Auersperg, AMI; Osvath, M

Title: Goffin's Cockatoos (Cacatua goffiniana) Can Solve a Novel Problem After Conflicting Past Experiences.

Source: Front Psychol. 2021; 12:694719

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Auersperg Alice Isabel Marie

Vetmed Research Units
Messerli Research Institute, Comparative Cognition

Project(s): Technical Innovativeness in the Goffin’s Cockatoo (Cacatua goffiniana)

The innovation problem: factors influencing innovative tool use in humaninfants and cockatoos

Novel problems often partially overlap with familiar ones. Some features match the qualities of previous situations stored in long-term memory and therefore trigger their retrieval. Using relevant, while inhibiting irrelevant, memories to solve novel problems is a hallmark of behavioral flexibility in humans and has recently been demonstrated in great apes. This capacity has been proposed to promote technical innovativeness and thus warrants investigations of such a mechanism in other innovative species. Here, we show that proficient tool-users among Goffin's cockatoos-an innovative tool-using species-could use a relevant previous experience to solve a novel, partially overlapping problem, even despite a conflicting, potentially misleading, experience. This suggests that selecting relevant experiences over irrelevant experiences guides problem solving at least in some Goffin's cockatoos. Our result supports the hypothesis that flexible memory functions may promote technical innovations.Copyright © 2021 Bobrowicz, O'Hara, Carminito, Auersperg and Osvath.

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