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Can male Eurasian jays disengage from their own current desire to feed the female what she wants

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Ljerka Ostojić
  • Edward W. Legg
  • Rachael C. Shaw
  • Lucy G. Cheke
  • Michael Mendl
  • Nicola S. Clayton
Original languageEnglish
Article number20140042
JournalBiology Letters
Issue number3
DatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


Humans' predictions of another person's behaviour are regularly influenced by what they themselves might know or want. In a previous study, we found that male Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius) could cater for their female partner's current desire when sharing food with her. Here, we tested the extent to which the males' decisions are influenced by their own current desire. When the males' and female's desires matched, males correctly shared the food that was desired by both. When the female's desire differed from their own, the males' decisions were not entirely driven by their own desires, suggesting that males also took the female's desire into account. Thus, the male jays' decisions about their mates' desires are partially biased by their own desire and might be based upon similar processes as those found in humans.

    Research areas

  • Corvid, Desire-state attribution, Eurasian jay, Food-sharing, Specific satiety



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