Transitive inference in pigeons may result from differential tendencies to reject the test stimuli acquired during training

Transitive inference in pigeons may result from differential tendencies to reject the test... In the five-term, transitive inference task used with animals, pigeons are trained on four simultaneous discrimination premise pairs: A + B −, B + C −, C + D −, D + E −. Typically, when tested with the BD pair, most pigeons show a transitive inference effect, choosing B over D. Two non-inferential hypotheses have been proposed to account for this effect but neither has been reliably supported by research. Here we test a third non-inferential hypothesis that the preference for B arises because the animals have not had as much experience with B − in the A + B − discrimination as they have had with the D − in the C + D − discrimination. To test this hypothesis we trained the Experimental Group with the A + B − discrimination in which, over trials, there were four possible A + stimuli that could appear. This was done to encourage the pigeons to learn to reject the B − stimulus. For the Control Group there was only one A + stimulus over trials, as is typically the case. We also varied the nature of the stimuli between groups, such that colors served as the stimuli for half http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Animal Cognition Springer Journals

Transitive inference in pigeons may result from differential tendencies to reject the test stimuli acquired during training

Animal Cognition, Volume OnlineFirst – Mar 29, 2019

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2019 by Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature
Subject
Life Sciences; Behavioral Sciences; Zoology; Psychology Research
ISSN
1435-9448
eISSN
1435-9456
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10071-019-01257-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In the five-term, transitive inference task used with animals, pigeons are trained on four simultaneous discrimination premise pairs: A + B −, B + C −, C + D −, D + E −. Typically, when tested with the BD pair, most pigeons show a transitive inference effect, choosing B over D. Two non-inferential hypotheses have been proposed to account for this effect but neither has been reliably supported by research. Here we test a third non-inferential hypothesis that the preference for B arises because the animals have not had as much experience with B − in the A + B − discrimination as they have had with the D − in the C + D − discrimination. To test this hypothesis we trained the Experimental Group with the A + B − discrimination in which, over trials, there were four possible A + stimuli that could appear. This was done to encourage the pigeons to learn to reject the B − stimulus. For the Control Group there was only one A + stimulus over trials, as is typically the case. We also varied the nature of the stimuli between groups, such that colors served as the stimuli for half

Journal

Animal CognitionSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 29, 2019

References

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