Scientists at Purdue University taught pigs to play video games. The experiment involved Yorkshire pigs Hamlet and Omelette and Panepinto micro pigs Ebony and Ivory.
The experiment involved first teaching the pigs how to manipulate a joystick using their snouts. They were then taught to use the joystick to play a video game on a monitor in front of them. The pigs did show a remarkable ability to learn and operate the game.
The pigs were rewarded with food for playing the game properly, but they also responded to verbal encouragement.
The study is the result of twenty years of work by scientists to study the intellectual abilities of animals. In addition to pigs, other animals participated in the experiment. Among them are chickens, dogs and primates. Primates and pigs did the best.
“It is no small feat for an animal to grasp the concept that the behavior they are performing is having an effect elsewhere.That pigs can do this to any degree should give us pause as to what else they are capable of learning,” explains Candice Crony, director of the Center for the Science of Animal Welfare at Purdue University.