Eurasian jays have been reported to protect their caches by responding to cues about either the visual perspective or current desire of an observing conspecific, similarly to other corvids. Here, we used established paradigms to test whether these birds can - like humans - integrate multiple cues about different mental states and perform an optimal response accordingly. Across five experiments, which also include replications of previous work, we found little evidence that our jays adjusted their caching behaviour in line with the visual perspective and current desire of another agent, neither by integrating these social cues nor by responding to only one type of cue independently. These results raise questions about the reliability of the previously reported effects and highlight several key issues affecting reliability in comparative cognition research.
Data and analyses of all experiments are available at http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4636561
- Piero Amodio
- Benjamin G Farrar
- Christopher Krupenye
- Nicola S Clayton
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All procedures were approved by the University of Cambridge Animal Ethics Committee (reference n. ZOO35/17).
- Detlef Weigel, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Germany
- Received: April 21, 2021
- Accepted: September 9, 2021
- Accepted Manuscript published: September 10, 2021 (version 1)
© 2021, Amodio et al.
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