Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in Brain Research Bulletin 76 (2008), pp. 293-299; doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2008.02.008 Copyright © 2008 Elsevier Inc. Used by permission.


Clark’s nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana) were trained to search for a hidden goal located in the center of a four-landmark array. Upon completion of training, the nutcrackers were presented with tests that expanded the landmark array in the east-west direction, north-south direction and in both directions simultaneously. Although the birds learned to search accurately at the center of the landmark array during training, this search pattern did not transfer to the expansion tests. The nutcrackers searched at locations defined by absolute distance and/or direction relationships with landmarks in the training array. These results contrast with those from experiments with nutcrackers in which an abstract geometric rule was learned. This difference appears due to differences in the experimental paradigms used during training.