What if two persons who are supposed to work together have different opinions on how to solve a problem? This problem not only arises in human interaction, but can also occur between the two halves of our brain. In this case, the brain requires efficient problem-solving mechanisms. A Biopsychology team from Bochum explored the potential mechanisms by confronted pigeons with a task in which two stimulus classes (cats and dogs) were brought into conflict. The analysis of response patterns and reaction times indicated that an individual dominance of one hemisphere for conflict decisions (meta-control) is primarily based on intrahemispheric processes. Interhemispheric mechanisms come into play for more complex decisions. This flexibility could be a crucial building block for the evolutionary success of a lateralized brain.
Manns M, Otto T, Salm L. Pigeons show how meta-control enables decision-making in an ambiguous world. Sci Rep. 2021 Feb 15;11(1):3838.