Hot off the press! “Learning outdoors: male lizards show flexible spatial learning under semi-natural conditions”

For anyone interested in comparative cognition, these are exciting times and 2012 has been a good year for lizards! Manuel Leal and Robert Powell’s study of Anolis cognition demonstrated that lizards are capable of behavioural flexibility. (Behavioural flexibility, a key feature of advanced cognition, is the ability to solve a novel problem, or develop . . . → Read More: Hot off the press! “Learning outdoors: male lizards show flexible spatial learning under semi-natural conditions”

Mole-rats varied life boosts the brain — ABC Science

Read an account of our recent work on mole-rat spatial cognition by Dani Cooper of ABC science. This work was carried out by Lydia du Toit while she she was on a postdoc with Martin.

Mole-rats varied life boosts the brain — ABC Science

Natal mole-rat (Cryptomys hottentotus natalensis). Photo © Jenny Jarvis.

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Influence of spatial environment on maze learning in an African mole-rat

We have just published a study on African mole-rat cognition which provides evidence that captivity in a less stimulating environment can result in a decline in cognitive performance. Recently caught mole-rats from the wild performed better in a maze test than long-term captives living in a simple environment. This suggests that your environment can . . . → Read More: Influence of spatial environment on maze learning in an African mole-rat

Dispatches from the lab: how smart are cane toads? Also, interested in a cognition internship?

In case you are not Australian, you may not know that the cane toad was introduced into Australia in 1935 to control beetle pests in sugar cane fields in Queensland. Martin is working with Pau Carazo, Rick Shine and Josh Amiel on toad cognition and brain structure. In particular, we are interested in whether . . . → Read More: Dispatches from the lab: how smart are cane toads? Also, interested in a cognition internship?