文章来源:未知 文章作者:enread 发布时间:2013-08-02 07:48 字体: [ ]  进入论坛
Scientists believe that pigeons have a spatial1 map that allows them to fly in an unfamiliar2 territory and know exactly where they are going.

The finding replaces the current theory that pigeons compare the coordinates3 of their location with those of the home loft4 and then systematically5 reduce the difference between the two to find their way home.
This earlier theory likens the navigation of pigeons to that of flying robots.
But experiments carried out at the University of Zurich have shown that pigeons possess cognitive6 capabilities7.
In unknown areas, the scientists claim pigeons recognise where they are in relation to their home loft and are able to choose their targets themselves.
Homing pigeons and migratory8 birds determine their flight direction with the help of the Earth's magnetic field, the stars and the position of the sun.
Nicole Blaser, a doctoral student in biology at the University of Zurich proposed the theory that pigeons have a spatial understanding and knowledge of their position in space relative to their home loft.
This theory presupposes a type of mental map in their brain and thus cognitive capabilities. Up until now, there has not been any clear evidence to support this.
For their experiments, Blaser and her colleagues fitted homing pigeons with miniature GPS loggers in order to monitor the birds' flight paths.
Beforehand the researchers trained the pigeons not to obtain food in the home loft, as was normally the case otherwise.
'We fed the pigeons in a second loft around thirty kilometres away, from where they each had to fly back to their home loft', said Blaser, explaining the structure of the experiment.
The scientists then brought the pigeons to a third place unknown to the pigeons in completely unfamiliar territory.
This release site was in turn 30 kilometres from the home loft and the food loft. Natural obstacles obscured visual contact between the release site and the two lofts9.
One group of the pigeons was allowed to eat before flying home. The other group was kept hungry before starting off.
'We wanted to find out whether the hungry pigeons fly first to the home loft and from there to the food loft or whether they are able to fly directly to the food loft,' said Blaser.
'As we expected, the satiated pigeons flew directly to the home loft', said professor Hans-Peter Lipp, neuroanatomist at the University of Zurich.
'They already started on course for their loft and only deviated10 from that course for a short time to make topography(地势)-induced detours(绕路,便道).'
The hungry pigeons behaved differently, setting off on course for the food loft from the very beginning and flying directly to that target.
They also flew around topographical obstacles and then immediately adjusted again to their original course.
Based on this evidence, Blaser believes that pigeons can determine their location and their direction of flight relative to the target and can choose between several targets.
Blaser concluded that pigeons have a type of cognitive navigational map in their heads and have cognitive capabilities.
'Pigeons use their heads to fly', she said.


1 spatial gvcww     
  • This part of brain judges the spatial relationship between objects.大脑的这部分判断物体间的空间关系。
  • They said that time is the feeling of spatial displacement.他们说时间是空间位移的感觉。
2 unfamiliar uk6w4     
  • I am unfamiliar with the place and the people here.我在这儿人地生疏。
  • The man seemed unfamiliar to me.这人很面生。
3 coordinates 8387d77faaaa65484f5631d9f9d20bfc     
n.相配之衣物;坐标( coordinate的名词复数 );(颜色协调的)配套服装;[复数]女套服;同等重要的人(或物)v.使协调,使调和( coordinate的第三人称单数 );协调;协同;成为同等
  • The town coordinates on this map are 695037. 该镇在这幅地图上的坐标是695037。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, headed by the Emergency Relief Coordinator, coordinates all UN emergency relief. 联合国人道主义事务协调厅在紧急救济协调员领导下,负责协调联合国的所有紧急救济工作。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 loft VkhyQ     
  • We could see up into the loft from bottom of the stairs.我们能从楼梯脚边望到阁楼的内部。
  • By converting the loft,they were able to have two extra bedrooms.把阁楼改造一下,他们就可以多出两间卧室。
5 systematically 7qhwn     
  • This government has systematically run down public services since it took office.这一屆政府自上台以来系统地削减了公共服务。
  • The rainforest is being systematically destroyed.雨林正被系统地毀灭。
6 cognitive Uqwz0     
  • As children grow older,their cognitive processes become sharper.孩子们越长越大,他们的认知过程变得更为敏锐。
  • The cognitive psychologist is like the tinker who wants to know how a clock works.认知心理学者倒很像一个需要通晓钟表如何运转的钟表修理匠。
7 capabilities f7b11037f2050959293aafb493b7653c     
n.能力( capability的名词复数 );可能;容量;[复数]潜在能力
  • He was somewhat pompous and had a high opinion of his own capabilities. 他有点自大,自视甚高。 来自辞典例句
  • Some programmers use tabs to break complex product capabilities into smaller chunks. 一些程序员认为,标签可以将复杂的功能分为每个窗格一组简单的功能。 来自About Face 3交互设计精髓
8 migratory jwQyB     
  • Many migratory birds visit this lake annually.许多候鸟每年到这个湖上作短期逗留。
  • This does not negate the idea of migratory aptitude.这并没有否定迁移能力这一概念。
9 lofts dba33875eb1186c08cd8c3eba344fcdc     
阁楼( loft的名词复数 ); (由工厂等改建的)套房; 上层楼面; 房间的越层
  • He lofts it into the air, and hugs his head in the deep secret embrace. 他抬手甩了出去,然后赶忙把头紧紧的抱了个密不透风。
  • Spring Loaded Bed Loft-Lofts bed, freeing up extra storage space underneath. 弹性床铺抬高器---抬高床铺,释放更多床底下的空间。
10 deviated dfb5c80fa71c13be0ad71137593a7b0a     
v.偏离,越轨( deviate的过去式和过去分词 )
  • On this occasion the plane deviated from its usual flight path. 这一次那架飞机偏离了正常的航线。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • His statements sometimes deviated from the truth. 他的陈述有时偏离事实。 来自《简明英汉词典》
TAG标签: map location pigeons