Pigeons Can Learn to Visually Recognize Words

October 6, 2016 |

In New Zealand, there is no doubt that Pigeons are one of the most interesting family of birds. A new study has highlighted that Pigeons (specifically Columba livia) can be trained to separate real words from non-words. According to researchers from University of Otago, the pigeons learn to differentiate based on the orthographic properties that make up words and use this knowledge to identify words they had never seen before.

In the experiment, pigeons were trained to peck four-letter English words when the words are put up on a screen, or instead to peck a symbol when a four letter non-word was displayed. The scientists were able to build vocabularies ranging from 26-58 words and over 8,000 non-words using 4 pigeons.

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