Pessimism is contagious: proven crows
Scientists have found in common ravens (lat. Corvus corax) capacity for empathy.
22 may 2019 14:36
Crows are among the most intelligent birds. Previously, scientists showed how the skillful use of tools, carrying heavy loads and exhibit other cognitive abilities. New experiments, which were conducted by biologists from the University of Vienna was dedicated to psychological aspects.
Within three months, five male and three female common Raven was kept in a common aviary. After the birds got to know each other, the scientists offered them two wooden boxes: empty and containing a piece of cheese. At the same time recorded the response of birds to treat or disappointment: finding cheese, they shook his head and pecked him happily, whereas in the absence of the expected Goodies crows “blowing off steam”, causing the legs shots or digging the ground.
Complicating the task, people were placed in the cage the third box of mystery. It was either the dog food, attracting birds, or carrots – a product that is not part of their diet. The crows were divided into pairs so that one of them researched the box with unknown contents, while the other could only watch him from behind the bars.
Documenting the response of birds to these tests, the scientists moved on to the third phase: study of the behavior of ravens observer. It turned out that those are properly understood and remembered the emotions of his partner. If the observer saw that the box was nothing interesting, and he’s not too interested in her showing signs of frustration. In those cases, when a mysterious box was delicious food, the observer just started eating it, not showing any joyful emotion.
Scientific work has proven that crows are able to “infect” each other’s emotional States, which indicates their empathy. The authors of the study attribute this to the fact that in the wild, negative information is more important: it allows you to protect, to save time when searching for food, and so on. Probably for this reason negative emotions are transferred more bright signals. Let’s see how rats empathize with each other.