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Loma Pendergraft publishes article in Nature Communications on cognitive abilities of American crows

A recent publication by UW Psychology lecturer Loma Pendergraft and colleagues finds that American crows, which are proficient at solving a task requiring tools, use different brain regions compared to their naïve and less competent peers.

“Talent matters,” said lead author Loma Pendergraft, who is affiliated with the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences and studies the cognitive abilities of American crows, particularly how they interact within their social environment. “We found that naïve crows – who had never seen the apparatus before – showed more activity in neural circuits that govern sensory and higher-order processing. They were taking in a lot of information and thinking hard about it. But, if they became proficient at using tools to solve the task, we saw a big shift away from those regions and into areas associated with motor learning and tactile control."

This research was funded by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Higher Education and Training Program, the NSF GRFP, the Seattle ARCS Foundation, the James Ridgeway Professorship, the NIH (grant: 1S10OD017980-01), and the NERC (grant: NE/J018694/1).

Read more about Pendergraft's research here:

Access the article in Nature Communications here: