Two subjects were just three months old. “Hamlet” and “Omelette” were the names of Yorkshire pigs trained by scientists at Purdue University in Indiana, USA to control a computer. Together with them, 24-month-old mini pigs “Ebony” and “Ivory” were trained in the same task – again with success: all four animals finally managed to move the joystick with their muzzle so that they Turn the cursor off the screen can bring a certain target.
If the pigs did their work, they received a reward. In many – but not all – efforts, the animals reached the target more often than random joystick movements, reports Candace Crony and Sarah Boysen in Expert magazine. »Frontiers in Psychology«.
“These results suggest that pigs have the ability to learn video game tasks operated with joysticks despite their lack of dexterity and visual limitations,” the team writes. Says Kruni: “Understanding a concept that one’s own behavior has an impact elsewhere is no small achievement for an animal.” However, the rhesus monkeys performed significantly better in tests with the same game.
But pigs are anything but stupid, as the current result suggests. The animals had already achieved notable results in previous studies. Among other things, it was about multiple-choice tasks and simple command learning. Also, Hungarian researchers did in July last year informed ofMini pigs raised in families can solve tasks independently compared to dogs.
The game is too fat to continue
Perhaps the researchers of the present study were slightly afraid of the impenetrable force with which pigs could cope with the task. In any case, he used the IBM 386, a model of the full computer stone age that was certainly already written. He hid the monitor behind a plexiglass pane. Because pigs can be clever, but not subtle.
After twelve weeks of testing, another problem was revealed: “Hamlet” and “Omelette” had put on too much weight. They could not stand long enough to complete tasks – and simply no longer fit the experimental set-up.