Counting crows | Neuro-patch
It is getting to be common knowledge that some birds can count. Recent research (citation below) has shown some of the details of how crows handle numbers. They have a different brain architecture from mammals but in some ways show similar functions to our neo-cortex in their endbrain association area. This points to possible convergent evolution. Ditz and Nieder planted electrodes in the endbrain of crows and recorded activity of NLC (nidopallium caudolaterale) neurons. The birds were shown groups of items and the NCL neurons shown activity to specific numbers of items. The activity of a particular neuron peaked at a particular number. Here is the abstract: "It is unknown whether anatomical specializations in the endbrains of different vertebrates determine the neuronal code to represent numerical quantity. Therefore, we recorded single-neuron activity from the endbrain of crows trained to judge the number of items in displays. Many neurons were tuned for numerosities irrespective of