European jays may use “mental time travel,” according to scientists.

Jaylo the Jay is watching as food is placed in a glass while the blue series is being encoding. Credit: James Davies, CC- In
European jays you recollect extraneous details of past events, which is quality of acute memory in humans, according to a study published May 15, 2024, in the open- access journal PLOS ONE by James Davies of the University of Cambridge, U. K., and colleagues. Humans have the ability to “mental time travel,” deliberately reimagining past experience and probably recalling information that seemed inconsequential at the time. Some analysts have suggested that this “episodic storage” is unique to people. In this research, Davies and colleagues conducted an acute memory test on seven European jays, birds who are exceptionally good at remembering where stored food is stored. The birds were finally given rewards for choosing the right choice when they watched meal being placed beneath one mug in a line of four parallel cups. The parrots were taught to recognize the right glass by remembering its placement in line over the course of some trials. Finally, during tests, the jays were given an unexpected storage assessment: They watched food find placed beneath one of the cups, which now all had special physical characteristics, but they were then separated from the cups for 10 minutes while the cups were relocated and rearranged. Despite the altered cups ‘ positions and the longer time lag, 70 % of the birds were able to identify the baited cup correctly according to its physical characteristics. These findings suggest that birds were able to recognize these differences during screening and remember them later, related to acute memory in humans, even though the cups were irrelevant during training. This study suggests acute memory might help jays locate food stores, and the researchers suggest that potential studies might look into whether the birds may perform identical feats of memory in various non-food-related situations. The authors conclude that the ability to record, remember, and access extraneous information contained within a remembered function is consistent with the nature of human storage, known as “episodic” memory, because they were able to recall details that had no particular value or relevance at the time the memory was created. ” More information:
Eurasian jays ( Garrulus glandarius ) show episodic- like memory through the incidental encoding of information, PLOS ONE ( 2024 ). DOI: 10.1371/journal. pone. 0301298

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