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Spatial accuracy in food-storing and nonstoring birds

Lookup NU author(s): Anthony McGregor, Dr Susan Healy


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We compared the ability of coal tits, Parus ater (a food-storing species), great tits, P. major, and blue tits, P. caeruleus (two nonstoring species) to remember spatial locations in a spatial delayed-matching-to-sample task. Presentation of a single sample image on a touch screen was followed by a choice phase containing two three or four images, in which the bird had to choose the original image. Storers made more correct choices than did nonstorers. Performance was affected by the proximity of the distractors: both groups performed less well when distractors were close to the sample although storers were less affected by proximity of distractors than were nonstorers. Both groups made correct decisions sooner than errors. We conclude that the accuracy of spatial memory in food-storing birds is greater than that of nonstorers.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McGregor A, Healy SD

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Animal Behaviour

Year: 1999

Volume: 58

Issue: 4

Pages: 727-734

ISSN (print): 0003-3472

ISSN (electronic): 1095-8282

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1006/anbe.1999.1190


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