Pigs have a "remarkable” ability to learn how to play video games — an ability that's nothing to be snorted at. The pigs are unlikely to be taking home an E-sports trophy anytime soon, but their aptitude for learning this skill has highlighted their surprisingly high level of intelligence and cognitive flexibility.
Their exploits were recently the subject of a study in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. The research saw two Yorkshire pigs, named Hamlet and Omelette, and two Panepinto micro pigs, Ebony and Ivory, being taught how to play a simple video game. The pigs were trained to move a joystick with their snouts in front of a computer screen. If they successfully moved the pointing using the joystick toward one of the targets on the screen, they were rewarded with a snack. Even once the pigs stopped receiving the reward, they were able to complete tasks using only verbal and touch cues.
The researchers, who have previously explored the depths of chimpanzee cognition, described their ability to pick up this skill as "remarkable."
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