Crow understands the 'concept of zero'
It has been said that only a limited number of organisms such as humans, rhesus monkeys and honeybees can recognize zero as one number, but research has shown that crows may also recognize the concept of zero. Clarified by.
The concept of 'zero (0)', which is said to have first appeared around the 5th century, has brought about a dramatic change in the field of mathematics.
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Maximilian Kirschhock and colleagues at Eberhard Karls University in Tubingen investigated whether crows could understand the concept of zero from both neurological and ethological perspectives. Kirsvhhock and his colleagues first 2 birds of carrion crow the other hand, show how the display to zero to four black spots in front of the eye is displayed twice in succession, moving the head or number peck the display if the same, different I trained to stand still if it was a number. After several trials, we found that the greater the difference between the two sets of points, the more accurately the crow responded.
In other words, when two black dots and three black dots were displayed in succession, the crow was more likely to make a mistake than when one black dot and four black dots were displayed in succession. 'This phenomenon is known as the numerical distance effect, and similar phenomena can be seen in humans and monkeys,' said collaborator Andreas Nieder. Also, since crows often confuse the case without black spots with the case with one, Kirschhock et al. 'The crows recognize that'no black spots' are just'nothing'. It shows that it is actually treated as a numerical value. '
In addition, during the experiment to display sunspots, a wire was connected to a part called the exodermis, which controls the advanced cognitive function of crows, and the activity of neurons was recorded. As a result of Kirschhock et al. Collecting data from a total of more than 500 neurons for two birds, it was found that the part where the neurons become active differs depending on the number recognized by the crow. For example, there were some parts that became active when two sunspots were recognized, some parts became active when four black spots were recognized, and there were also parts that became active when there were no sunspots. The neurons that recognize this 'zero' become less active as the number of sunspots on the display increases.
Kirschhock et al. Conclude, 'The above suggests that crows understand the concept of zero.' 'It may seem a bit strange to find out if animals understand the concept of zero,' Nieder said. However, given that birds and mammals split from a common ancestor, 2 The fact that the species share a common cognitive ability is noteworthy. '