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New Research shows Pigeons can be taught to Read, just like Humans

The pigeon can learn to distinguish between real words and non-words by looking at the letter combinations

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Pigeon. Pixabay
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October 10, 2016: According to a recent study at New Zealand’s University of Otago and Ruhr University, Germany pigeons can actually be smarter than it was perceived earlier as they have the ability to ‘read’.

The pigeon can learn to distinguish between real words and non-words by looking at the letter combinations.

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The study proves that a non-primate species has some ‘orthographic abilities’- the ability to recognize a three-dimensional object which is represented in two dimensions such as words.
In the experiment, four of the brainiest birds were trained for over the course of eight months by the researchers.

The researchers called the process ‘autoshaping’. This process is involved shining a light through three holes to get the attention of the bird, soon after that food was to be presented in a tiny tray.

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After the completion of the process, several times, the pigeons actually learned that food is followed by the flashing of the light; they peck the light in anticipation of a snack.
Then, they were trained to peck four-letter words coming up in the three holes or when a non-word is displayed it is to peck a star symbol.

The research team added words one by one with the four pigeons, building up vocabularies ranging from 26 to 58 words and more than 8,000 non-words.

According to ANI, “Pigeons, separated by 300 million years of evolution from humans and having vastly different brain architectures, show such a skill as orthographic processing is astonishing,” said the co-researcher Onur Gunturkun

The researchers believed that a controversial theory called ‘neuronal recycling’ maybe the reason for the bird’s reading ability.

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The theory tries to explain how humans developed the ability to read and write
However, there’s no evidence that would suggest that the pigeons were actually able to decipher meanings to the words they recognised, as the humans do.
The research was published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

by NewsGram team with inputs from ANI

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  • Diksha Arya

    Well Pakistan has been training them for ages and sending to our border to threaten our prime minister…

  • Antara

    The pigeons posess orthographic processing skill! Quite astonishing!

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)