People just aren’t that good at multitasking, despite what productivity gurus and life coaches might say. The Current Biology Journal published a recent study concluding that pigeons may actually be better at multitasking than humans. Pigeons have tested to switch tasks at least as efficiently as people, and sometimes more so.
Researchers from Ruhr-University Bochum, in Germany, believe pigeons adeptness at multitasking may be due to their high neuronal density. These findings have revolutionized the current understanding of neurobiology. Scientists had previously believed the mammalian cerebral cortex to be the anatomical reason for cognitive ability. Pigeons don’t have a cerebral cortex, yet they are still able to multitask.
This research suggests that neuron density may have more to do with cognitive ability than the mammalian cerebral cortex. We’ll have to wait to find out more, but we’ll never look at the word ‘birdbrain’ the same again.