Pigeon Research

Pigeons are a favorite animal to study in the laboratory. Pigeons have excellent visual acuity, color vision, and visual memory, all of which rival or even surpass these abilities in highly visual primates. Birds are also an important taxonomic group to compare with mammals, the other major group of warm-blooded, highly mobile, visually oriented animals. Although a large portion of the avian central nervous system is devoted to visual processing, the bird brain is just a fraction of the size of our own. It is this unique combination of high visual competence and small size that makes birds so central to our understanding of the basic mechanisms of visual categorization.


Study says pigeons peck with purpose

Pigeons and people use the same visual cues

Amodal completion of moving objects by pigeons

Pigeon Study Shows Some Features of Human Face Perception Are Not Uniquely Human

Is That a Grimace? Ask a Pigeon

How Do You Tell a Chair from a Cat? Scientists Say You Could Ask a Pigeon

Baboons and pigeons are capable of higher-level cognition


Edward A. Wasserman
Stuit Professor of Experimental Psychology
Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences
E222 Seashore Hall
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone:  (319) 335-2445
Fax:  (319) 335-0191
Email: ed-wasserman@uiowa.edu