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      Flexible motor adjustment of pecking with an artificially extended bill in crows but not in pigeons

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          The dextrous foraging skills of primates, including humans, are underpinned by flexible vision-guided control of the arms/hands and even tools as body-part extensions. This capacity involves a visuomotor conversion process that transfers the locations of the hands/arms and a target in retinal coordinates into body coordinates to generate a reaching/grasping movement and to correct online. Similar capacities have evolved in birds, such as tool use in corvids and finches, which represents the flexible motor control of extended body parts. However, the flexibility of avian head-reaching and bill-grasping with body-part extensions remains poorly understood. This study comparatively investigated the flexibility of pecking with an artificially extended bill in crows and pigeons. Pecking performance and kinematics were examined when the bill extension was attached, and after its removal. The bill extension deteriorated pecking in pigeons in both performance and kinematics over 10 days. After the bill removal, pigeons started bill-grasping earlier, indicating motor adaptation to the bill extension. Contrastingly, pecking in crows was deteriorated transiently with the bill extension, but was recovered by adjusting pecking at closer distances, suggesting a quick adjustment to the bill extension. These results indicate flexible visuomotor control to extended body parts in crows but not in pigeons.

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          Most cited references 34

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          Manufacture and use of hook-tools by New Caledonian crows

           Gavin R. Hunt (1996)
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            Shaping of hooks in New Caledonian crows.

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              Computational approaches to sensorimotor transformations.

              Behaviors such as sensing an object and then moving your eyes or your hand toward it require that sensory information be used to help generate a motor command, a process known as a sensorimotor transformation. Here we review models of sensorimotor transformations that use a flexible intermediate representation that relies on basis functions. The use of basis functions as an intermediate is borrowed from the theory of nonlinear function approximation. We show that this approach provides a unifying insight into the neural basis of three crucial aspects of sensorimotor transformations, namely, computation, learning and short-term memory. This mathematical formalism is consistent with the responses of cortical neurons and provides a fresh perspective on the issue of frames of reference in spatial representations.

                Author and article information

                R Soc Open Sci
                R Soc Open Sci
                Royal Society Open Science
                The Royal Society Publishing
                February 2017
                15 February 2017
                15 February 2017
                : 4
                : 2
                [1 ]Department of Psychology, Keio University , Tokyo, Japan
                [2 ]Japan Society of Promotion for Sciences , Tokyo, Japan
                Author notes
                Author for correspondence: Ei-Ichi Izawa e-mail: izawa@ 123456psy.flet.keio.ac.jp

                Electronic supplementary material is available online at https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3677329.

                © 2017 The Authors.

                Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Funded by: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001691;
                Award ID: 16K13509, 16J04383, 25118002
                Biology (Whole Organism)
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                February, 2017


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