Parrot Beats Harvard Students at Memory Game | Beaufort County Now | Is an African grey parrot smarter than a Harvard University Student? | daily wire, parrot, harvard, memory game, african grey parrot, july 14, 2020

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Parrot Beats Harvard Students at Memory Game

Publisher's note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire, and written by Ashe Schow.

    Is an African grey parrot smarter than a Harvard University Student? Probably not, but it does appear to be better at the classic Shell Game.

    Griffin, a 22-year-old grey parrot (they can live more than 50 years) outperformed 21 Harvard students in the classic memory game where a ball (in this case, a colorful pom-pom) is hidden under a plastic cup, the cups are shuffled, and one has to guess which cup contains the ball. Griffin reportedly did as well as or bested the Harvard students in 12 out of 14 trials, Fox News reported.

    The results were published in May but only recently reported. The Harvard Gazette reported the findings earlier this month. In addition to the Harvard students, Griffin's results were also compared to 21 6- to 8-year-old kids. The test, according to the Gazette, was a little more complicated than the classic Shell Game.

    "The participants were tested on tracking two, three, and four different-colored pom-poms. The position of the cups were swapped zero to four times for each of those combinations. Griffin and the students did 120 trials; the children did 36," the outlet reported.

    Griffin "outperformed the 6- to 8-year-olds across all levels on average, and he performed either as well as or slightly better than the 21 Harvard undergraduates on 12 of the 14 of trial types," the Gazette reported.

    "Think about it: Grey parrot outperforms Harvard undergrads. That's pretty freaking awesome," lead study author and postdoctoral Harvard fellow Hrag Pailian told the Gazette. "We had students concentrating in engineering, pre-meds, this, that, seniors, and he just kicked their butts."

    Fox reported that "Griffin is not your average parrot." The study's authors wrote that the parrot "has been the subject of cognitive and communicative studies ... since his acquisition from a breeder at 7.5 weeks of age."

    The Gazette added that "Harvard students did manage to keep (some) of their Crimson pride intact."

    "On the final two tests, which involved the most items and the most movement, the adults had the clear edge. Griffin's average dipped toward the children's performance — though never below it. The researchers were unable to determine the precise reason for this drop, but they believe it has something to do with the way human intelligence works (arguably making the Harvard students' victory a matter of performance enhancement of the genetic variety)," the outlet reported.

    The memory game experiment was part of a larger study published in Scientific Reports and sought to investigate limitation sin the brain's "ability to process and update mental representations," the Gazette reported.

    More from Fox:

  • What does this bird-brain study tell us about the power of cognition? According to the researchers, both the parrot and the human participants were using a feature of their working memories called "manipulation" to succeed in these tasks. Not only were they able to remember which pom-poms were under which cups once they were out of view, but they were then able to manipulate that information as the cups were shuffled around. The fact that a parrot performed on-par with 42 human competitors suggests that manipulation is an evolutionarily ancient capability, which may have existed in a common ancestor millions of years ago.

    In case you were wondering, Griffin received some raw cashew crackers for participating in the experiment.


HbAD0

Latest Op-Ed & Politics

Kevin Daley of the Washington Free Beacon highlights a campaign to punish two high-profile U.S. senators.
Sixty percent of battleground voters view Democrats’ latest effort to impeach President Donald Trump as another “waste of time and money” and are seeking an orderly transition of power, a leaked internal shows.
Another example of how the globalist Facebook uses its power to impose its political ideology
Come with us on Part II of Wolfman and The Guardians' journey through the streets of our nation's capitol. These stories are only available exclusively here at BCN!
In a year of bad actions by very bad people, this is by far the worst done to destroy this Constitutional Republic. Anyone telling you different is either a liar, a Stupid or those that truly hate our United States Constitution.
David Harsanyi writes for National Review Online about recent signs of Americans’ collective embrace of extreme political positions.

HbAD1

This man sets and example for us all
Naomi Lim of the Washington Examiner reports on special plans for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week.
Less than a year after an audit of the N.C. Department of Transportation found massive overspending, a blue-ribbon panel is recommending the department get a 40% budget hike.
Today, America's second Fake Impeachment of Donald J. Trump, just days before he leaves office, may speak more about those Impeaching the President than he who is indicted.
For the last four years, Donald Trump kept back the tide. But now, it’s up to Congress.
In her fine opinion piece for the Martin Center, Megan Zogby bemoans the “Quixotic” requirement that North Carolina college and university students take between two and four courses in a language such as Spanish, French, or German.
Andrew McCarthy of National Review Online admits early in his latest column that he believes President Trump has “committed impeachable conduct.”

HbAD2

 
Back to Top