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猪可以用镜子找到隐藏的食物

时间:2010-07-27 21:52    来源:    作者: 点击:
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    In just five hours, an average farm pig can learn how to interpret an image in the mirror and use it to find hidden food.

    Scientists consider the ability to use a mirror a sign of complex cognitive processing and an indication of a certain level of awareness. In addition to humans and some primates, dolphins, elephants, magpies and a famous African grey parrot named Alex have all been known to retrieve objects or remove marks on their body using a mirror. Now it looks like pigs should be added to the list of clever critters that can master a mirror: After spending five hours with a mirror in their pen, seven out of eight pigs could use the reflection to find a hidden bowl of grub.

    "This is the first demonstration of the ability of pigs to use mirrors," animal behavior expert Donald Broom of the University of Cambridge wrote in an e-mail. "Finding sophisticated learning and awareness in animals can alter the way that people think about the species and may result in better welfare in the long run." Broom co-authored the paper published this month in Animal Behaviour.

    Like most animals, the pigs were immediately curious when researchers placed the shiny, reflective object in their pen. They approached the mirror until they bumped into it with their snout, and then checked to see what was behind the mirror. The pigs spent an average of 20 minutes gazing at their reflection, often turning in different directions to inspect themselves from several angles.

    "These kind of movements suggest that the pigs were correlating the movements of their body with the visual stimulus they were receiving from the mirror, and so learning the contingency between the two," biologist Louise Barrett of the University of Liverpool wrote in a commentary about the paper, also published this month in Animal Behaviour.

    After five hours with a mirror, the pigs were placed in a new test area that contained a food bowl hidden behind a barrier. Although the pigs could see the reflection of the bowl in the mirror, they couldn't see the food directly. A fan above the bowl circulated the scent of food around the room, prohibiting the pigs from smelling their way to the treat.

    Seven out of eight of the pigs with previous mirror experience spotted the reflection of the food bowl and correctly interpreted its location: Instead of searching for the food in its apparent position behind the mirror, the pigs headed around the barrier and straight for the true location of the bowl. When the researchers tested pigs with no prior mirror exposure, however, nine out of 11 of them became confused, searching behind the mirror for the food.

    "These results suggest not only that pigs learn the contingency between their own movements and their image in the mirror," Barrett wrote, "but that their knowledge incorporates the layout of the environment as well, so that they can locate objects in space."

    The researchers say their experiment is more than a nifty trick: The fact that pigs can learn to use a mirror means they are capable of a type of awareness called assessment awareness, which means they can understand the significance of a situation in relation to themselves, over a short period of time. In this case, the pigs remembered how their own movements appeared in the mirror, and were able to apply that knowledge to a separate situation involving a hidden food bowl.

    "Having a sense of self and using it is a form of assessment awareness," Broom wrote. Although the mirror experiment doesn't directly prove that pigs have a sense of self, the researchers suggest that given how quickly the pigs learn to recognize their own movements in a mirror, they may have some degree of self-awareness. "We have no conclusive evidence of a sense of self," Broom wrote, "but you might well conclude that it is likely from our results."

    Other mirror tests have been used to more directly examine an animal's sense of self - if researchers apply a yellow mark to the black feathers of a magpie, for instance, the bird will use a mirror to clean itself off. Unfortunately, Broom says the mark experiments just don't work on pigs: Pigs are so accustomed to being streaked with mud, they don't much care if researchers apply extra marks on their bodies. "We have put marks on pigs," Broom wrote. "They take little notice of them."

    Combined with a host of other research studies demonstrating the keen intelligence of pigs, the researchers hope their study will lead to better treatment of the farm animals. "If an animal is clever," Broom wrote, "it is less likely to be treated as if it is an object or a machine to produce food, and more likely to be considered as an individual of value in itself."

    一只平凡的家养猪可以用五小时学会怎样看懂镜子里的图像并用它找到潜匿的食品。

    科学家以为使用镜子是一种庞年夜的认知历程,这是必然不雅察看认知水平的象征。除了人类和一些灵长类动物,海豚,年夜象,喜鹊和一只叫Alex的驰誉的非洲灰鹦鹉也都能够经由过程使用镜子找到方针物可能撤除它们身上的暗号。看起来猪也是一种会使用镜子的生物,由于在五小不时刻中,八只被研究的猪中有七只可以经由过程镜子反射找到潜匿的装有食品的碗。

    "这是第一次对付猪使用镜子手段的揭示,"来自哥伦比亚年夜学的动物举动专家Donald Broom在一封电子邮件中写道:"对付动物具有庞年夜的进修和认知手段这一了解年夜概会变化人类看待物种的立场,并年夜概会带来耐久的福利。"Broom合着了一篇这个月在《动物举动》揭晓的论文。

    和年夜部分其它动物一样,猪也连忙对研究职员放在猪圈内里发光的、会反射的对象默示出好奇心。它们逐渐接近镜子直到鼻子碰到了镜面,然后查察镜子后头到底是什么。它们均匀花了差不久不多20分钟谛视镜中的自己,一向换差此外标的目的角度来不雅察看。

    "这种移动剖明猪把自己身材的举措和镜中的影像接洽在一路,然后学会这两者间的接洽相关。"来自利物浦年夜学的生物学家Louise Barrett 在一篇也是这个月揭晓在《动物举动》中的论文的评述中写道。

    五小事势后,这些猪被安设在一个新的测试环境中,而一个装着食品的碗被藏在窒碍物后头。猪不能直接看到碗,只可以经由过程镜子反射看到。碗上方的风扇使食品的喷香味在房间里通顺,休止猪经由过程味道找到食品。

    八只有不雅察看镜子经历的猪中有七只看到了反射的碗并切确的找到了它的位置。它们并没有直接在镜子后头探求,它们穿过了窒碍物并切确直接的走到了放碗的位置。当研究者测试没有不雅察看镜子经历的猪时,11只中有九只被镜子迷惑,在镜子后头探求食品。

    "这些功效剖明猪不只仅学会了它们自己的举措和镜中影像举措之间的接洽相关,"Barrett写道,"它们也会把四周环境机关思量在内,因而他们可以在一个空间中确认方针物的位置。"

    研究职员说他们的尝试不只仅是一个俏皮的伎俩。猪会使用镜子的毕竟声名他们有一种评估认知,也便是说他们可以在短时刻内理解理睬环境和他们自身的相关。在这个尝试中,猪记取了它们的举动是怎样在镜子中泛起的,并能把这个经历应用到涉及潜匿的装有食品的碗这一自力变乱中去。

    "拥有自我意识并能应用是有评估认知的一种情势。"Broom写道。虽然镜子尝试不能直接证实猪有自我意识,研究职员指出猪对付镜中它们自己身材移动认知的速率剖明它们有必然的自我认知程度。"我们没有抉择性的证据证实自我意识,"Broom写道,"可是你应该照样可以经由过程我们的结论揣度这是年夜概的。"

    其余镜子尝试被用来更直接的磨练动物的自我意识。比如,研究职员在一只玄色羽毛的喜鹊上涂上黄色暗号,它能经由过程照镜子来擦失暗号。然而,Broom说暗号尝试不合用于猪:猪太风俗于身材涂上泥巴,它们并不太在意研究职员是否在它们身上涂上了多余的暗号。"我们曾在猪身上涂暗号,"Broom写道,"它们并不怎么在意这些暗号。"

    联络猪有伶俐这些研究功效,研究职员但愿他们的研究可以使得农场里的动物获得较好的对待。"要是一只动物是聪明的,"Broom写道,"它就不年夜会被算作一个对象可能制造食品的呆板,它更会被算作有自我代价的自力个体。"




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