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ERIC Number: EJ906132
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-0022-5002
Choice in Quail Neonates: The Origins of Generalized Matching
Schneider, Susan M.; Lickliter, Robert
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, v94 n3 p315-326 Nov 2010
Although newborns have surprised scientists with their learning skills, proficiency on concurrent schedules of reinforcement requires (in effect) the ability to integrate and compare behavior-consequence relations over time. Can very young animals obey the quantitative relation that applies to such repeated choices, the generalized matching law? The provenance of the skill is not well understood, and this study provides the first investigation of matching in neonates. Northern bobwhite ("Colinus virginianus") hatchlings pecked left and right targets on a touchscreen for heat delivery on a concurrent variable-interval reinforcement schedule. Within 5 days after hatching, the chicks showed sensitivity levels significantly greater than zero, but short of typical adult levels. However, stable sequential patterns emerged almost immediately, including a consistent choose-rich tendency after unreinforced responses, one that entails some degree of temporal integration. These exploratory data suggest that the basic ability to match develops quickly in this precocial species, but that more extensive experience may be required to achieve the higher sensitivities typically seen in adults. (Contains 6 figures and 1 footnote.)
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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