Overview of the Peculiarities of Social Learning of Representatives of the Genus Corvus

Oksana Palchyk


This article considers learning as one of the forms of the normal functioning of a social group. The article analyses and summarises modern literary publications on the peculiarities of social learning of representatives of the genus Corvus.

In the course of the analysis of modern scientific literature, it is found that social experience at an early age significantly affects the development of models of social interaction, which, in addition to parents, are influenced by the relationship with peers. Among peers, siblings have a high tolerance and socially positive behaviour. The influence of the social context also depends on the combination of male-male and male-female sexes. The female-female social coalition is a rare phenomenon among ravens, but there is evidence of such interaction, so that it can be identified as a promising area of research. Most of the analysed sources indicate that kinship ties increase the productivity of crows in terms of social learning in kin and interfamilial groups.

It is emphasised that the social and cognitive behaviour of representatives of the genus Corvus is due to the existence of neural memory mechanisms. Neural networks may integrate individual discrimination and control of social behaviour in memory-based dominance in ravens. Sex and aggressiveness are crucial as personal characteristics for dominance formation. Distinction explains individual differences in anxiety responses that have a social context.

The social learning of some members of the genus Corvus is clearly expressed in the ability to maintain cultural variations in vocalisation within the population and manufacturing tools for food production. The basic models of actions for using tools may have their evolutionary origin in food storage (caching). Individual learning by trial and error is considered a social learning component within kinship and between groups.


social learning; social behavior; kinship; memory; dominance; tools; vocalisation


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