Carel ten Cate: Avian Cognition: on Rules, Reasoning and Rhythms
Professor of Sensory and Behavioural EcologyQueen Mary University of London
A key feature of human cognition is the ability to form perceptual and functional categories, use concepts, detect and learn abstract patterns and rules. These abilities form the basis for many traits that would seem uniquely human, such as using language and enjoying music. I will explore whether and to what extent such abilities may also be present in birds and what this may tell about how the cognitive abilities of bird species relate to those of humans.
Michelle J. Spierings and Carel ten Cate (2016) Budgerigars and zebra finches differ in how they generalize in an artificial grammar learning experiment. PNAS
Carel ten Cate,Michelle Spierings, Jeroen Hubert and Henkjan Honing (2016) Can birds perceive rhythmic patterns? A review and experiments on a songbird and a parrot species. Frontiers in Pschology
Carel ten Cate (2018) The comparative study of grammar learning mechanisms: birds as models. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences 21;13-18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2017.11.008