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科学美国人60秒:聪明的松鼠

lzy 于2017-10-17发布 l 已有人浏览
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科学美国人60秒:聪明的松鼠
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Squirrels Chunk Their Buried Treasure
聪明的松鼠
We humans sometimes use a memory technique called chunking. For example, with phone numbers we usually remember the three-digit chunk and the four-digit chunk. Two items instead of seven.
我们人类有时会采用一种“分块记忆”的记忆方法。例如,对于电话号码,我们通常会记住三位数、四位数的记忆。或者两位数记忆,而不是七位数。
“Well, the way I think about chunking is it’s any shortcutting strategy or mnemonic device that would allow an animal, be it human or otherwise, to increase their memory capacity and improve recall.” Mikel Delgado, an animal behaviorist now at U.C. Davis.
我认为分块记忆是一种记忆捷径或者说是助记策略,这种方法可以让动物、人类增加记忆容量、提高记忆力。Mikel Delgado是加州大学戴维斯分校的一名动物行为学家。
“And so in the case of the research I was doing in this study, I wanted to know if squirrels would basically arrange their nuts in a way that might facilitate either recall of the location or recaching and redistribution of those nuts later, making it more convenient for them to remember where nuts were stored—because they stored nuts of a similar type or value in similar locations spatially.”
我做此项研究,是想知道松鼠是否会按照某种方法来安置坚果,这种方法有助于它们回忆起坚果的位置或者之后对坚果进行分配或再分配,这将便于记忆坚果存储的位置——因为松鼠将相似类型或者相似价值的坚果存储在一样的位置。
Delgado looked for this spatial chunking among 45 fox squirrels on the campus of U.C. Berkeley, where she got her doctorate in August.
Delgado在加州大学伯克利分校对45只狐狸松鼠寻找了这种“空间分块”。八月份,她在这所学校获得了博士学位。
“So we gave each squirrel 16 nuts…four each of four different types…so the types were almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans.
我们给每只松鼠16个坚果……每四个坚果为一种类型……坚果的类型分别是杏仁、榛子核桃和胡桃。
“And so we’d give the squirrel the first nut, they’d go bury it. We would follow them from a distance until they had finished caching, or burying it. We recorded the GPS location where they’d buried the nut. And then we lured them back to the original location where they received the first nut to give them the second nut. And so we did that every single time.
我们给松鼠第一个坚果后,它们会把这个坚果埋起来。我们会远远地跟踪直到它不再跑,或者将坚果埋起来。我们记录了松鼠埋坚果的位置。之后,我们将松鼠引到给它们第一个坚果的位置,并给它们第二个坚果,之后我们每一次都这样做。
"And so the other location condition was basically a lot faster and easier where we gave the squirrel the first nut, they buried it, and then we gave them the second nut right where they buried the first one.”
另外一种定位条件比较便捷,我们给松鼠第一个坚果,松鼠将坚果埋掉以后,我们就在它埋第一个坚果的位置给它们第二个坚果。
And when the squirrels got all their nuts from a central location, they spatially chunked them: “So they would actually cache nuts that were the same species in distinct areas from nuts of a different species…so the take home message I think for me is really that just like physical traits have evolved, I believe that cognitive traits have evolved as well. And a memory process that’s very common in humans, this chunking, is a strategy that works for other species.”
将松鼠从一个中心的位置获得所有坚果时,它们已经对这些坚果在空间上进行了分块:“松鼠会将同种类型的坚果和不同类型的坚果存在不同的地方。所以我觉得,就像身体特征进化一样,松鼠的认知特征也已经进化了。分块记忆,这种人类很常见的记忆策略,也适用于其他物种。”
The study is in the journal Royal Society Open Science.
Why the critters did not spatially chunk when they received nuts in different locations is not clear. To do so might have been too energetically costly. It’s also possible that it’s beyond their cognitive capacity—although anyone who has tried to squirrel-proof a bird feeder knows that squirrels have a lot of cognitive capacity.
该研究结果发表在《皇家协会开放科学》杂志上。
为什么即使在不同的地方收到坚果,松鼠也会对坚果进行空间分块存储,这个原因尚不明确。因为这样做会耗费很多的精力。也有可能这已经超过了松鼠的认知能力——尽管防鼠的饲鸟员都知道松鼠有强的辨认能力!~
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