Little evidence that Eurasian jays protect their caches by responding to cues about a conspecific's desire and visual perspective
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
Article and author information
Leverhulme Trust (Study Abroad Scholarship,SAS-2020-004\10)
- Piero Amodio
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (Doctoral Training Programme,BB/M011194/1)
- Benjamin G Farrar
European Commission (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship MENTALIZINGORIGINS,Grant reference: 752373)
- Christopher Krupenye
FP7 Ideas: European Research Council (ERC Grant Agreement N 3399933)
- 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
- Preprint posted: March 29, 2021 (view preprint)
- Received: April 21, 2021
- Accepted: September 9, 2021
- Accepted Manuscript published: September 10, 2021 (version 1)
- Version of Record published: October 22, 2021 (version 2)
© 2021, Amodio et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
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