Executive functions comprise of top-down cognitive processes that exert control over information processing, from acquiring information to issuing a behavioral response. These cogni- tive processes of inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility underpin complex cognitive skills, such as episodic memory and planning, which have been repeatedly investigated in several bird species in recent decades. Until recently, avian executive functions were studied in relatively few bird species but have gained traction in comparative cognitive research following MacLean and colleagues’ large-scale study from 2014. Therefore, in this review paper, the relevant previous findings are collected and organized to facilitate further investigations of these core cognitive processes in birds. This review can assist in integrating findings from avian and mammalian cognitive research and further the current understanding of executive functions’ significance and evolution.
Bibliografisk informationThis article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Birds 2021