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  • Writer's picturePaul


The finale of “Home Alone 2” is a lot different from what I remember (Pixabay)

So here’s an unusual sentence: pigeons can tell the difference between Cubism and Impressionism.

In a 1995 study organized by researchers at Keio University in Tokyo, two sets of pigeons were successfully trained to peck a food-supply device whenever they were presented with paintings by either Pablo Picasso or Claude Monet.

The birds were kept in small chambers and presented with a rolling series of artworks on a slide projector. Four of the birds were rewarded with food whenever they correctly pecked at their food dispenser when a Picasso painting was shown to them, and another four were rewarded whenever they correctly pecked the dispenser when shown a painting by Monet. Eventually, the birds learned to peck the button only when shown works by whichever artist they had been trained to recognise.

So, yes—pigeons can tell the difference between two of the most famous artists, and art movements, in history. But judging by the state they leave most statues in, they’re not a huge fan of sculpture..

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