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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
- About Us
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.