Experts from the U.S. have conducted an experiment that led to the conclusion that pigs have unexpected cognitive abilities.
The study was published February 11 in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.
The scientists conducted the experiment involving two Yorkshire pigs and two Panepinto micro pigs. Specialists at Purdue University wanted to find out if the animals were capable of mastering a video game using a joystick.
The pigs were taught to control the joystick with their muzzles to move the cursor across the four sides of the screen. The animals did well, and their cognitive performance matched that of nonhuman primates.
“It’s not easy for an animal to realize that the action it performs has an effect on a situation elsewhere. The fact that pigs can do this to some extent should make us think about what else they are capable of learning and how such learning might affect them,” said study author Candice Crowney, Ph.D., director of the Center for Animal Welfare Science at Purdue University.
During the study, the authors used food to teach the animals. In doing so, the scientists found that the pigs performed the necessary actions consciously, rather than mechanistically, in anticipation of a reward. What’s more, the animals were able to do things correctly even when there were no threats.
“This kind of research is very important because, as with any sentient being, the way we interact with pigs and what we do with them affects them and matters to them,” Crowney added.
On February 1, it became known about an experiment of Elon Musk’s Neuralink company. Specialists, according to Musk, embedded a neural implant in the brain of a monkey. With the help of the device, the animal was taught to play video games.
Elon Musk clarified that the chip is completely hidden under the skin of the primate and does him no harm. According to the founder of Space X, the monkey feels fine. In addition, Musk assured that the animal is kept in the best conditions. He also explained that the improvement of chipping technology is aimed at eliminating brain and spinal cord injuries and replenishing lost abilities.