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Birds show human-like intelligence in tests: New Zealand study

WELLINGTON, Sept. 28 — Birds might have a "general intelligence" to reason and solve problems similar to humans, according to a New Zealand research out Monday.

The finding comes from a Victoria University study of 20 wild North Island robins that took part in six cognitive tasks focusing on colors, symbols, spatial memory, inhibitory control and motor skills.

"Our results suggest that if an individual did well in one test, it was likely to do well in others," researcher Dr Rachael Shaw said in a statement.

"There has been little research into whether general intelligence exists in non-humans, and our statistical analyses show that robins may have something like it and that these patterns are highly unlikely to have happened by chance."

The series of tests were designed to identify consistent measures from an individual, similar to an IQ test or psychometric test on humans.

The robins were motivated to do their best by teaching them to jump on a scale and eat a worm before and after each test.

"The end check is really important because if a bird is failing a task, you want to ensure that they still want food rewards," said Shaw.

She planned to investigate how individual cognitive abilities were linked to reproductive success and survival.

"I think it's intriguing that you pick up patterns in performance in birds that are similar to the patterns we see in humans — it has the potential to tell us more about brains and how brains work," she said. (PNA/Xinhua)

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