Crows' brains possess the ability to recognize faces, then associate them with both negative and positive feelings the same way those of humans do.
Twelve adult male crows were captured, with investigators wearing masks portraying a “threatening face”. In captivity over four weeks, they were fed by people wearing masks portraying a “caring face”. Their brains were scanned as they were exposed to either the threatening or caring face, revealing a region where negative associations are stored as memories.
The findings may offer a way to reduce conflict between birds and endangered species. It also has the potential to improve understanding of the neural basis for animal behaviour.