Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes 32:4 (2006), pp. 407–418. Copyright © 2006 by the American Psychological Association. Used by permission.


The authors tested the spatial memory of serially presented locations in Clark’s nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana). Birds were serially presented with locations in an open room. The authors buried a seed in a sand-filled cup at each location and then tested nutcrackers for their memory for each location in the list by using the cluster method. For each item in the list, the authors opened a cluster of 6 holes. Accuracy was measured by how many tries were required for the bird to find the correct location within each cluster. In Experiments 1 and 2, the authors presented 2 lists of locations and found evidence for proactive and retroactive interference. Nutcrackers made errors by visiting the interfering list of locations during recovery of the target list. This finding demonstrates that nutcrackers are susceptible to proactive and retroactive interference during the recall of spatial information.