Spatial memory in other vertebrates such as some jays and squirrels is thought to work similarly to how humans remember where things are, using the hippocampus. This is the part of the brain that we use for long term memory and spatial navigation. It is found to actually grow seasonally in birds that hide food in many places during the fall. It is also very important in rodents that store food.
Multiple experiments performed with captive birds in Russell Balda’s lab at Northern Arizona University have demonstrated they can remember caching locations by noting the positions of stones, shrubs, and other landmarks in the area. If the landmarks are shifted, the birds err in their retrieval attempts by searching in the correct locations according to the position of the landmarks, but not the actual locations of the seeds.
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