Study 1 : Neophobia in Birds
ManyBirds: A multi-site collaborative Open Science approach to avian cognition and behavior research
Publication : Lambert et al., (2021). ManyBirds: A multi-site collaborative Open Science approach to avian cognition and behavior research. Animal Behavior and Cognition
In this article, we outlined a) the replicability crisis and why we should study birds, including the origin of modern birds, avian brains and convergent evolution of cognition; b) the current state of the avian cognition field, including a ‘snapshot’ review; c) the ManyBirds project, with plans, infrastructure, limitations, implications and future directions. In sharing this process, we hope that this may be useful for other researchers in devising similar projects in other taxa, like non-avian reptiles or mammals, and to encourage further collaborations with ManyBirds and related ManyX projects. Ultimately, we hope to promote collaboration between ManyX projects to allow for wider investigation of the evolution of cognition across all animals, including potentially humans.
Socio-ecological correlates of neophobia in corvids
Publication: Miller et al. (2021) Socio-ecological correlates of neophobia in corvids. Current Biology
Neophobia (i.e. responses to novelty) impacts on adaptability and survival. Previous research indicates there is inter- & intra-species variation in neophobia, though there are few large-scale, comparative studies. Miller et al. (2021) tested neophobia in 10 corvid (members of the crow family) species, comprising 241 subjects, through a multi-lab international collaboration. This study found species differences, identified several socio-ecological drivers (urban habitat, sociality, flock size, caching) of object neophobia, and individual temporal & contextual repeatability in corvids.