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Relational Learning Using Speed of Motion
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Pigeons demonstrate robust relational learning after multiple-pair transposition training (Lazareva, Young, & Wasserman, 2005; Lazareva, Miner, Young, & Wasserman, 2008). These studies, however, employed the stimuli varying along the same dimension (i.e., size), raising concerns about generality of the findings. We trained pigeons to select the faster (or the slower) of the two stimuli moving horizontally. The first group of pigeons was trained with the pairs 1+ 2- and 2+ 3- (or 1- 2+ and 2- 3+; 32 digits denote speed of rotation and plus and minus signs denote reward and nonreward, respectively). The second group of pigeons was trained with the pairs 1+ 2-, 2+ 3-, and 3+ 4- (or 1- 2+, 2- 3+, and 3- 4+). We expect to replicate an increase in relational learning from two-pair to three-pair training. We will also explore whether relational disparity (i.e., the dissimilarity of the two testing stimuli) and novelty (i.e., Euclidean distance from the testing pair to the training pair) will affect relational responding as it was reported earlier.
Advisor: Olga Lazareva