Acquisition of a joystick-operated video task by pigs


Despite dexterity and visual constraints, pigs have the capacity to acquire a joystick-operated video-game task.


The ability of two Panepinto micro pigs and two Yorkshire pigs (Sus scrofa) to acquire a joystick-operated video-game task was investigated. Subjects were trained to manipulate a joystick that controlled movement of a cursor displayed on a computer monitor. The pigs were required to move the cursor to make contact with three-, two-, or one-walled targets randomly allocated for position on the monitor, and a reward was provided if the cursor collided with a target. The video-task acquisition required conceptual understanding of the task, as well as skilled motor performance.


Terminal performance revealed that all pigs were significantly above chance on first attempts to contact one-walled targets.


These results indicate that despite dexterity and visual constraints, pigs have the capacity to acquire a joystick-operated video-game task. Limitations in the joystick methodology suggest that future studies of the cognitive capacities of pigs and other domestic species may benefit from the use of touchscreens or other advanced computer-interfaced technology.


Croney CC, Boysen ST. Acquisition of a Joystick-Operated Video Task by Pigs (Sus scrofa). Frontiers in Psychology. 2021. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.631755


Source : pig333.com (22/07/2021)


Photo : ESTON MARTZ / PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY