The 2-page handout





The reading

Pigs may be more intelligent than we thought. They may be able to play video games. Researchers at Purdue University in the USA conducted research on pig-gaming skills. The researchers were surprised that their test pigs were able to play some games. Researchers got the four pigs, named Ebony, Hamlet, Ivory and Omelet, to play a simple game at different levels. They had to move a joystick with their snout to make a cursor move to a coloured wall. If they were successful, they got a tasty treat. Lead author Dr. Candace Croney said: "It's very clear they had some conceptual understanding of what they were being asked to do." The research is in a paper published in the journal "Frontiers in Psychology".



Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



The research was quite extensive. The pigs spent many days playing the game. During the last 50 rounds, the pigs played the game on three different levels. If they were successful at one level, they moved to the next level. The higher levels had better treats. A scientist told CNN that: "The pigs clearly understood the connection between their own behavior, the joystick, and what was happening on the screen." Dr. Croney said it was important to understand how pigs get information, and what they are capable of learning and remembering. She said this would help us to learn what pigs think of interacting with humans. We could also understand what pigs think of different environments.

Sources:

  • https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/pigs-can-learn-play-video-games-if-tempted-treats-180977018/
  • https://theconversation.com/pigs-can-play-video-games-scientists-discover-154993
  • https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/pig-intelligence

More Activities