Chimpanzees flexibly update working memory contents and show susceptibility to distraction in the self-ordered search task
“Our findings suggest that chimpanzees perform similar to seven-year-old children in an intuitive working memory task that does not rely on extensive training,” says Christoph Voelter
A new test for future planning (Dickerson et al in press) that controls for association finds that four-year-olds may be influenced more by an object’s associative value than its future usefulness.
Recently Megan passed her PhD viva at the University of York and is now a fully-fledged PhD! Well done Megan
Megan’s paper on tool use is in captive Vasa parrots is out this week! Megan documented Vasa parrots at Lincolnshire Wildlife Park using pebbles and date pits to grind calcium from shells. They shared their tools with one another too (see pic)!
Press release here: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/news/archive/2015/title,336759,en.php
We are very pleased to be able to give details about a grant that has recently been awarded to Amanda, for her project “The Evolutionary and Developmental Origins of Inquiring Minds: Studies of Causal Reasoning; Curiosity and Executive Control”.
The Starting Grant from the European Research Council worth €1.5 million will commence from this year (2015) for a duration of 5 years, pending ethical approval.
The grant will support three PhD studentships on this project, so watch this space for more information in due course!
Congratulations to Dr Carolina Mayer who passed her PhD viva today with only typographical corrections!
An article about research conducted in the Seed lab has been published in the Daily Mail! The study in question showed that non-human primates can understand the broken string problem and why an unbroken string will give them food, rather than just blindly solving through a learned association. This puts their understanding of the abstract properties of objects on a par with preschool children.
Original university press release here
And the PLOS One paper here
I was lucky enough to have one of these excellent fellowships – closing date Feb 2015.
We’re pleased to welcome Puja Singh, doing a PhD, and Zeynep Civelek and Joléne van der Mescht doing MSc projects. Puja and Jolene are jointly supervised by Juan Gomez and Zeynep by Josep Call.