What Are You Lookin’ At?
Ravens show evidence of knowing when they are being spied on – and it’s not just a matter of looking at visual cues like the position of another animal’s head. These ravens made the connection that when a slot between their cage and a neighboring cage was open, it was possible for the raven next door to spot where they were stashing their food.
Consciousness is a continuum.
HT Nick Benik
Originally shared by Rob Jongschaap
Ravens can imagine being spied on, study finds | Science | The Guardian
‘Ravens can imagine being spied upon by a hidden competitor, showing a capacity for abstraction once thought to be exclusively human, according to a new study.
Scientists have shown that the birds take extra care to hide food if they suspect their movements are being monitored by another raven, even when the second bird is not actually there.
The findings, published on Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, suggest that ravens – without recourse to direct observation – are able to understand what might be going on in the mind of another individual.’
Ravens attribute visual access to unseen competitors : Nature Communications : Nature Publishing Group
Recent studies purported to demonstrate that chimpanzees, monkeys and corvids possess a basic Theory of Mind, the ability to attribute mental states like seeing to others. However, these studies remain controversial because they share a common confound: the conspecific’s line of gaze, which could serve as an associative cue. Here, we show that ravens Corvus corax take into account the visual access of others, even when they cannot see a conspecific. Specifically, we find that ravens guard their caches against discovery in response to the sounds of conspecifics when a peephole is open but not when it is closed. Our results suggest that ravens can generalize from their own perceptual experience to infer the possibility of being seen. These findings confirm and unite previous work, providing strong evidence that ravens are more than mere behaviour-readers.