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Chapter 12

Chapter 12- Study notes.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Anneke Olthof

Chapter 12Food Caching and Recovery Birds hide seed in caches and then go back to them later to recover themFood caching and recovery potentially involves many different factors 1 You have to decide what food items to cache a Storing perishable foods is not useful unless you intend to recover them soonb nonperishables dont have to be recovered as quickly 2 Also decide where to store the food3 Caching also involves a social component storing food is only useful if you rather than a competitor get to eat what you stored 4 The decision of whether or not to cache can be influenced by the presence of an observer who might steal the food 5 The cache location choice may also depend on how easily that location is for competitors to find a Similar issues arrive at the time of recovery Recovery 1 You have to decide weather to look in the presence of a competitor 2 Which food to retrieve first 3 Whether to eat or restore what you recoveredFood caching and recovery has become a rich source of info about comparative cognition Spatial Memory in Food Caching and Recovery Researchers cannot accept spatial memory as the onky option o Need to rule everything else outOne possibility o Birds find caches by searching randomly among possible cache sites Another possibility is they store food only in a particular types of locations and then go around to these favoured places to recover the foodo This is not without remembering that they had put the food thereThey may also mark foodstorage sites somehow urine and then look for these marks when it comes time to recover the food Or they are able to smell or see the stored food and identify caches in that wayStudy Kamil and BaldaTested nutcrackers in a room that had a special floor with 180 recessed cups of sandAfter habituation and while the birds were hungry they were given here sessions during which they could store pine seeds in the sand cupsDuring each session only 8 cups were available and the rest were covered with lidso This forced birds to store food in cups selected by the experimenter rather than in cups or locations they could have found easily After 10 days four recovery sessions were conducted on successive days During the recovery sessions none of the cups were covered with a lid o The location of the seeds could not be identified because experimenters smoothed over the sando Other tests show that the seeds could not be recovered by the smellThis is bc birds visited the cup where they had placed the seed even though it was removedControl studies indicate that cache recovery reflects spatial memoryEpisodic Memory in Food Caching and Recovery Episodic memory is memory for a specific even or episode as contrasted with memory for general facts or ways of doing thingso You can recall what happened where it happened and when it happened o Claims that episodic memory is a unique human traitStudy Clayton Bussey and DickinsonArgued that episodic memory in nonhuman species has to have certain content More specifically the memory has to include information about what happened when it happened and where it happenedo This information also has to be integrated into a coherent representation rather than being independent bits of infoo It also has to be available for flexible use in dealing with new problems Used the Western scrub jay because it caches both perishables and nonperishable food engages in caching behaviour all year round and readily performs these activities in the laboratory Experimenters have to vary the palatability of the food in order to examine memory for what was stored and where o Remembering when the food was stored only when it is in relation to the perishable food item Birds prefer worms over peanuts however worms are perishableFirst gay the jays a practice trial in which they were allowed to store worms and peanuts in the compartments of an ice cube trayEach trial consisted of two storage or caching episodesA recovery period was then conducted 4124hrs later with both food trays On training trails with fourhour retention o Neither food deteriorated by the time the recovery or choice test occurredOn training trials with 124hr retention interval the worms had spoiled The birds learned to select the worms during the short recovery period and then the peanuts after the long one
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