Pigs Play Video Games

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University recently succeeded in teaching four pigs how to play a video game. Admittedly, the game was pretty simple. The pigs had to use a joystick to move a cursor toward a target wall on the computer screen. If they hit the wall, they'd hear a "bloop" and then get a food reward.

The pigs performed at a level far above random chance. However, the researchers noted that their skill level was below that of non-human primates. The scientists speculated that this may have been because it was difficult for the pigs to manipulate the joystick with their snout. Or perhaps it was because all four pigs were far-sighted and "despite attempts to position the computer monitor appropriately, it is impossible to know how well the pigs were able to see, and subsequently correctly discriminate between targets."

More info: Lab Manager, Frontiers in Psychology

Thanks to Gerald Sacks!
     Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 17, 2021
     Category: Animals | Experiments | Videogames and Gamers

Pigs are pretty intelligent animals overall. We've had a few when I was a wee lad. Not loyal as a dog can be, but as smart as one. Their eyesight may not be very good but they get around well enough with that nose. Remember that French farmers train them to find truffles, which grow on the roots of trees under the ground.

Maybe it would have helped to run the experiment with smell-o-vision.
Posted by KDP on 02/17/21 at 05:00 PM
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