Alice M I Auersperg

Alice M I Auersperg
University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna | vetmed

About

90
Publications
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1,181
Citations

Publications

Publications (90)
Article
Full-text available
The Goffin’s cockatoo (Goffin) is known for its advanced cognitive skills in the technical domain and the ability to innovate tool use in captivity. However, until recently, there were little data on the wildlife ecology of this species. Recent fieldwork in its natural habitat, the remote Tanimbar Islands in Indonesia, revealed that wild Goffins co...
Article
Full-text available
Composite tool use (using more than one tool simultaneously to achieve an end) has played a significant role in the development of human technology. Typically, it depends on a number of specific and often complex spatial relations and there are thus very few reported cases in non-human animals (e.g., specific nut-cracking techniques in chimpanzees...
Article
Full-text available
Despite countless anecdotes and the historical significance of insight as a problem solving mechanism, its nature has long remained elusive. The conscious experience of insight is notoriously difficult to trace in non-verbal animals. Although studying insight has presented a significant challenge even to neurobiology and psychology, human neuroimag...
Article
Full-text available
Paying attention to weight is important when deciding upon an object's efficacy or value in various contexts (e.g. tool use, foraging). Proprioceptive discrimination learning, with objects that differ only in weight, has so far been investigated almost exclusively in primate species. Here, we show that while Goffin's cockatoos learn faster when add...
Article
Full-text available
The use of different tools to achieve a single goal is considered unique to human and primate technology. To unravel the origins of such complex behaviors, it is crucial to investigate tool use that is not necessary for a species’ survival. These cases can be assumed to have emerged innovatively and be applied flexibly, thus emphasizing creativity...
Article
Full-text available
Flexible targeted helping is considered an advanced form of prosocial behavior in hominoids, as it requires the actor to assess different situations that a conspecific may be in, and to subsequently flexibly satisfy different needs of that partner depending on the nature of those situations. So far, apart from humans such behaviour has only been ex...
Article
Full-text available
Tool use research has suffered from a lack of consistent theoretical frameworks. There is a plethora of tool use definitions and the most widespread ones are so inclusive that the behaviors that fall under them arguably do not have much in common. The situation is aggravated by the prevalence of anecdotes, which have played an undue role in the lit...
Article
Full-text available
Novel problems often partially overlap with familiar ones. Some features match the qualities of previous situations stored in long-term memory and therefore trigger their retrieval. Using relevant, while inhibiting irrelevant, memories to solve novel problems is a hallmark of behavioral flexibility in humans and has recently been demonstrated in gr...
Article
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Although several nonhuman animals have the ability to recognize and match templates in computerized tasks, we know little about their ability to recall and then physically manufacture specific features of mental templates. Across three experiments, Goffin cockatoos (Cacatua goffiniana), a species that can use tools in captivity, were exposed to two...
Article
Full-text available
Goffin’s cockatoos, a parrot species endemic to the Tanimbar Islands in Indonesia, demonstrate remarkable cognitive skills across various technical tasks. These neophilic extractive foragers explore objects with their beak and feet, and are skilled in several modes of tool use. In this study, we confronted the animals for the first time with a vert...
Article
Complex novel tasks are often used in animal cognition research to allow discrimination between various learning mechanisms. Successful performance relies on the capacity to identify informational cues from features in the environment. Additionally, observational learning is often considered more beneficial for survival than individual learning. De...
Article
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The ability to innovate, i.e., to exhibit new or modified learned behaviours, can facilitate adaptation to environmental changes or exploiting novel resources. We hereby introduce a comparative approach for studying innovation rate, the ‘Innovation Arena’ (IA), featuring the simultaneous presentation of 20 interchangeable tasks, which subjects enco...
Article
Full-text available
Allogrooming in primates serves not only a hygienic function, but also plays a crucial role in maintaining strong affiliative bonds between group members, which in turn, underpin the emergence of cooperative behavior. In contrast, although allopreening occurs in many avian species, we know little about its social functions. Our study addresses this...
Article
Full-text available
One hallmark in the evolution of cooperation is the ability to evaluate one's own payoff for a task against that of another person. To trace its evolutionary history, there has recently been a surge in comparative studies across different species. In non‐human animals, evidence of inequity aversion has so far been identified in several primate spec...
Article
Full-text available
Parrots are renowned for their intelligence and ability to imitate human speech ever since they have been kept as pets. Despite of impressive pioneering work on the cognitive abilities of parrots, research on parrot cognition has only recently gained momentum, probably given the new wave of interest in possible convergent evolution of complex cogni...
Article
Full-text available
Making economic decisions in a natural foraging situation that involves the use of tools may require an animal to consider more levels of relational complexity than merely deciding between an immediate and a delayed food option. We used the same method previously used with Goffin´s cockatoos to investigate the orangutans’ flexibility for making the...
Data
Number of correct trials out of a total of 12 trials for each condition in the QAT for each individual. Binomial probabilities: * = p<0.05 (10/12 correct), ** = p<0.01 (11/12 correct); *** = p<0.001 (12/12 correct). (PDF)
Data
Number of correct trials out of a total of 12 trials for each condition in the MT for each individual. Binomial probabilities: * = p<0.05 (10/12 correct), ** = p<0.01 (11/12 correct); *** = p<0.001 (12/12 correct). (PDF)
Data
Results of the paired Wilcoxon tests for the first and last six trials of each condition for each test (n = 6). (PDF)
Data
Number of correct trials out of a total of 12 trials for each condition in the TSQAT for each individual. Binomial probabilities: * = p<0.05 (10/12 correct), ** = p<0.01 (11/12 correct); *** = p<0.001 (12/12 correct). (PDF)
Data
Results of the paired Wilcoxon tests for subjects´ performance in the ball- and stick- apparatus condition for each condition and for each test (n = 6). (PDF)
Data
Results of the preference tests in percent (%) including all combinations (a = apple, g = grape, p = banana pellet, r = rusk; TPF = third preferred food, MPF = most preferred food). Preference test 1 was conducted before subjects entered the test, Preference test 4 was conducted after all subjects had received all test trials. Preference test 2 &3...
Data
Names, sex and year of birth and rearing history of the six orangutans (Pongo abelii). (PDF)
Data
Number of correct trials out of a total of 12 trials for each condition in the TST for each individual. Binomial probabilities: * = p<0.05 (10/12 correct), ** = p<0.01 (11/12 correct); *** = p<0.001 (12/12 correct). (PDF)
Data
Number of correct trials out of a total of 12 trials for each condition in the TFT for each individual. Binomial probabilities: * = p<0.05 (10/12 correct), ** = p<0.01 (11/12 correct); *** = p<0.001 (12/12 correct). (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
Experimental work on captive Goffin’s cockatoos (Cacatua goffiniana) has highlighted the remarkable cognitive abilities of this species. However, little is known about its behavior in the natural habitat on the Tanimbar Archipelago in Indonesia. In order to fully understand the evolutionary roots leading to cognitively advanced skills, such as mult...
Article
Full-text available
Betty the crow astonished the scientific world as she spontaneously crafted hook-tools from straight wire in order to lift a basket out of vertical tubes. Recently it was suggested that this species' solution was strongly influenced by predispositions from behavioural routines from habitual hook-tool manufacture. Nevertheless, the task became a par...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to innovatively use or even manufacture different tools depending on a current situation can be silhouetted against examples of stereotyped, inborn tool use/manufacture and is thus often associated to advanced cognitive processing. In this study we confronted non-specialized, yet innovative tool making birds, Goffin’s cockatoos (Cacatua...
Data
Raw data: Contains the data obtained for the experiments in Microsoft excel. (XLSX)
Data
Supplementary information: Contains details of both the training procedure as well as the results in Microsoft word. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
The construction of novel compound tools through assemblage of otherwise non-functional elements involves anticipation of the affordances of the tools to be built. Except for few observations in captive great apes, compound tool construction is unknown outside humans, and tool innovation appears late in human ontogeny. We report that habitually too...
Article
When tested under laboratory conditions, Goffin’s cockatoos (Cacatua goffiniana) demonstrate numerous sophisticated cognitive skills. Most importantly, this species has shown the ability to manufacture and use tools. However, little is known about the ecology of these cockatoos, endemic to the Tanimbar Islands in Indonesia. Here we provide first in...
Article
The ability to select the necessary means for a familiar task while the task itself or the respective tools are out of sight suggests a rudimentary form of planning. Here we investigated if and how a non-specialized tool using bird, the Goffin’s cockatoo, can prospectively or retrospectively select the functional tool in a decision-making task feat...
Article
So far only one bird species, a corvid, passed the mark test for mirror self-recognition (MSR) although the results have been questioned. We examined the capacity for MSR in another large-brained avian taxon, parrots, with keas ( Nestor notabilis ) and Goffin’s cockatoos ( Cacatua goffini ). After several weeks of mirror habituation, they were subj...
Article
Full-text available
In captivity, the Goffin’s cockatoo (Cacatua goffiniana) has shown the capacity for flexible tool use and manufacture to a degree that rivals some habitually tool using birds. Although these skills make it an important avian model species for studying physical cognition, there are no scientific records of this species using objects as tools in the...
Article
Full-text available
The ability to move an object in alignment to a surface develops early in human ontogeny. However, aligning not just your own body but also the object itself in relation to a surface with a specific shape requires using landmarks rather than the own body as a frame of reference for orientation. The ability to do so is considered important in the de...
Article
Full-text available
The spontaneous crafting of hook-tools from bendable material to lift a basket out of a vertical tube in corvids has widely been used as one of the prime examples of animal tool innovation. However, it was recently suggested that the animals' solution was hardly innovative but strongly influenced by predispositions from habitual tool use and nest b...
Article
Play behaviour may be subdivided into social play, locomotor play and object play. Object play has been proposed to constitute an important factor in developing skills concerned with physical problem solving. Especially tool using species seem to benefit from object play during their ontogeny. However, object play is not easily distinguished from e...
Article
Full-text available
Exploration (interacting with objects to gain information) and neophobia (avoiding novelty) are considered independent traits shaped by the socio-ecology of a given species. However, in the literature it is often assumed that neophobia inhibits exploration. Here, we investigate how different approaches to novelty (fast or slow) determine the time a...
Article
Tool use in animals can be costly as foraging tools need to be actively searched for or manufactured. Consequently, some habitually tool-using species keep their tools safe and ‘recycle’ them for further use. We tested the Indonesian Goffin's cockatoo, a parrot with the capacity but no apparent adaptive specialization for tool use to investigate ho...
Article
Full-text available
Innovative tool manufacture is rare and hard to isolate in animals. We show that an Indonesian generalist parrot, the Goffin's cockatoo, can flexibly and spontaneously transfer the manufacture of stick-type tools across three different materials. Each material required different manipulation patterns, including substrates that required active sculp...
Article
Full-text available
Different types of social relationships can influence individual learning strategies in structured groups of animals. Studies on a number of avian species have suggested that local and/or stimulus enhancement are important ingredients of the respective species’ exploration modes. Our aim was to identify the role of enhancement during object manipul...
Article
Full-text available
Decisions involving the use of tools may require an agent to consider more levels of relational complexity than merely deciding between an immediate and a delayed option. Using a new experimental approach featuring two different types of tools, two apparatuses as well as two different types of reward, we investigated the Goffin cockatoos’ ability t...
Chapter
Unusual niches as well as unpredictable or seasonal resources foster a broader spectrum of foraging techniques and often promote flexibility and physical innovations. This may lead to an increase in technical abilities, including enhanced cause-effect exploitation, the capacity to distinguish between functional and nonfunctional object properties a...
Article
Full-text available
Inference by exclusion, the ability to base choices on the systematic exclusion of alternatives, has been studied in many nonhuman species over the past decade. However, the majority of methodologies employed so far are hard to integrate into a comparative framework as they rarely use controls for the effect of neophilia. Here, we present an improv...
Article
Full-text available
The playful (i.e., not overtly functional) combination of objects is considered a potential ontogenetic and phylogenetic precursor of technical problem solving abilities, as it may lead to affordance learning and honing of mechanical skills. We compared such activities in 6 avian species: 3 psittaciforms (black-headed caiques, red-shouldered macaws...
Article
Full-text available
In primates, complex object combinations during play are often regarded as precursors of functional behavior. Here we investigate combinatory behaviors during unrewarded object manipulation in seven parrot species, including kea, African grey parrots and Goffin cockatoos, three species previously used as model species for technical problem solving....