The four pigs came to win. If they play the game well, they get delicious dog food (they used to have M & Ms, but the humans decided that was too drunk). Over and over, when researchers ask you to complete a video game mission – pointing the cursor with a joystick, it’s kind of primitive Bong– They did it with great skill.
Researchers started BoTurning pigs into computerized tasks In the late 1990s, and although the results received occasional press coverage over the years, no peer-reviewed research on the experiments was conducted. Even published Today, With a sheet In Frontiers in Psychology. Scholars He found that despite the visual and visual limitations of the animals, pigs were able to comprehend and accomplish Simple goals computer games.
“What they have been able to do is do a lot better than the chance to achieve these goals,” said Candice Crony, director of the Purdue University Center for Animal Welfare Sciences and lead author of the paper, in a phone call. “And enough above the chance that it’s pretty clear that they have some theoretical understanding of what they’re being asked to do.”
The published research is a long-awaited outgrowth of nearly 20 years of work that began when Crony was at Purdue University, working with prolific pig researcher Stanley Curtis. The project followed the efforts of two Yorkshire pigs, a hamlet and an omelette, and two panipento pigs, ebony and ivory, as they attempt to move the cursor to a lit area on a computer screen.
“They beg to play video games,” Curtis said Tell AP in 1997. “They beg to be the first to get off their pens, and then run down the ramp to play.”
It was an uphill battle for the pigs. Control sticks were equipped for experiments with primates, so hoofed pigs had to use their nose and mouths to get the job done. All four pigs were found far-sighted, so the screens had to be positioned at the ideal distance for the pigs to see the targets. There were additional restrictions on Yorkshire pigs. And because they are born to grow quickly, heavier pigs cannot stay on their feet for long.
Neuroscientist Lori Marino said in an email not affiliated with the current newspaper. Marino, who runs the Whale Sanctuary Project, has long studied cognition, intelligence and self-awareness in mammals, including pigs. “It’s really a testament to their cognitive flexibility and dexterity that they were able to find ways to manipulate the joystick despite the fact that test preparation was often difficult for them to physically handle.”
Marino added: “What makes these results more important is that the pigs in this study showed intrinsic efficacy, which is the ability to perceive that an individual’s actions make a difference.”
Pigs were taught a number of commands to make their lives, as well as those of researchers, easier. They learned directions similar to what I was teaching a dog – to sit, stand, and wait away from their enclosures when they need to be cleaned – as well as to bring their toys when the video game business is over.
“At a certain point, they were really good at getting their toys, and they weren’t good at cleaning after themselves,” said Crony. “I pretty much became a daycare worker for pigs, wandering around and sorting them out. Then we started teaching them to repeat things.”
When the hunt was over, the Yorkshire pigs were adopted by owners A. Bed and breakfast, where they lived their lives on the farm. Ebony and ivory He eventually retired to a children’s zoo. Commercial RecordOni said that even after years of experimentation, she went to visit Hamlet, who heard her voice and “came jumping” across the meadow to be greeted.
Pigs may not have dextrox toes of a primate or the cute looks of a puppy dog, but cognitively, they are in tough competition. Winston Churchill once said: “The dogs are looking at you, the cats are looking at you. Give me a pig! He looks at you in the eye and treats you as equal.” It has been a long time since pigs have been accorded the respect they deserve.