Fear Factor

Just like humans, crows can recognise faces and associate them with negative and positive feelings. In a study, investigators wearing threatening masks captured some crows. These birds were fed by people wearing a caring face mask for four weeks. The birds were then injected with a glucose fluid to study their brain activity when they saw either the threatening or caring mask for 15 minutes.

Brain scans revealed that a region in the crows’ brains stores memories associated with fear, just like humans. Researchers say the findings have implications for lowering the stress of captive animals. 


Down to Earth, October 2012