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ERIC Number: EJ906130
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
ISSN: ISSN-0022-5002
Associative Symmetry by Pigeons after Few-Exemplar Training
Velasco, Saulo M.; Huziwara, Edson M.; Machado, Armando; Tomanari, Gerson Y.
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, v94 n3 p283-295 Nov 2010
The present experiment investigated whether pigeons can show associative symmetry on a two-alternative matching-to-sample procedure. The procedure consisted of a within-subject sequence of training and testing with reinforcement, and it provided (a) exemplars of symmetrical responding, and (b) all prerequisite discriminations among test samples and comparisons. After pigeons had learned two arbitrary-matching tasks (A-B and C-D), they were given a reinforced symmetry test for half of the baseline relations (B1-A1 and D1-C1). To control for the effects of reinforcement during testing, two novel, nonsymmetrical responses were concurrently reinforced using the other baseline stimuli (D2-A2 and B2-C2). Pigeons matched at chance on both types of relations, thus indicating no evidence for symmetry. These symmetrical and nonsymmetrical relations were then directly trained in order to provide exemplars of symmetry and all prerequisite discriminations for a second test. The symmetrical test relations were now B2-A2 and D2-C2 and the nonsymmetrical relations were D1-A1 and B1-C1. On this test, 1 pigeon showed clear evidence of symmetry, 2 pigeons showed weak evidence, and 1 pigeon showed no evidence. The previous training of all prerequisite discriminations among stimuli, and the within-subject control for testing with reinforcement seem to have set favorable conditions for the emergence of symmetry in nonhumans. However, the variability across subjects shows that methodological variables still remain to be controlled. (Contains 1 table and 6 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A