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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Live Chat: Do Animals Think Human Thoughts?
21 March 2012 8:58 am
See below for the chat box. Join us each Thursday at 3 p.m. EDT for a live conversation with leading scientists and expert reporters.
It seems that hardly a week goes by without a new report about animals performing marvelous feats we once thought only humans could do: Crows make tools, chimpanzees seem to mourn their dead, and rats supposedly empathize with one another’s pain. Do these findings suggest close similarities between human and animal minds? Or are there alternative ways of explaining the clever things that animals do, without invoking human-like cognition?
Join us for a live chat at 3 p.m. EDT on Thursday, 22 March, on this page. You can leave your questions in the comment box below before the chat starts.
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Elske van der Vaart
Elske van der Vaart is a PhD student at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, where she uses computer models to study the intelligence of corvids. She puts different cognitive assumptions into a kind of ‘virtual bird’, in order to test what kinds of behavior they produce. In this way, she hopes to help empirical scientists interpret the results of their experiments.
James Thom is a PhD student at the University of Cambridge's Comparative Cognition Laboratory, where he studies foresight and decision making in western scrub-jays. Scrub-jays are members of the crow family, corvids, who rely extensively on food stored in the ground. James is seeking to understand what his scrub-jays know of the relationship between storing food and the consumption of that food later on.