Object permanence in the Goffin cockatoo (Cacatua goffini)

Alice M I Auersperg*, Birgit Szabo, Auguste M P von Bayern, Thomas Bugnyar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)


The ability to represent hidden objects plays an important role in the survival of many species. In order to provide an inclusive synopsis of the current benchmark tasks used to test object permanence in animals for a psittacine representative, we tested eight Goffin cockatoos (Cacatua goffini) on Stages 3-6 of Piagetian object permanence as well as derivations of spatial transposition, rotation, and translocation tasks. Subjects instantly solved visible displacement 3b and 4a but showed an extended plateau for solving Stage 5a at a very late age (10 months). Subjects readily solved most invisible displacement tasks including double hidings and four angles (90°, 180°, 270°, and 360°) of rotation and translocations at high performance levels, although Piagetian Stage 6 invisible displacement tasks caused more difficulties for the animals than transposition, rotations, and translocation tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-98
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Comparative Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Goffin cockatoo
  • invisible displacement
  • object permanence
  • Psittacines

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