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Evidence for object-place binding in pigeons in a sequence-learning procedure.

  • Blaisdell, Aaron P
  • Schroeder, Julia E
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2022
eScholarship - University of California
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We studied object-location binding in pigeons using a sequence learning procedure. A sequence of four objects was presented, one at a time at one of four locations on a touchscreen. A single peck at the object ended the trial, and food reinforcement was delivered intermittently. In Experiment 1, a between-subjects design was used to present objects, locations, or both in a regular sequence or randomly. Response time costs on nonreinforced probe tests on which object order, location order, or both were disrupted revealed sequence learning effects. Pigeons encoded location order when it was consistent, but not object order when it alone was consistent. When both were consistent, pigeons encoded both, and showed evidence of object-location binding. In Experiment 2, two groups of pigeons received training on sequences where the same object always appeared at the same location. For some pigeons a consistent sequence was used while for others sequence order was randomized. Only when sequence order was consistent was object-location binding found. These experiments are the first demonstrations of strong and lasting feature binding in pigeons and are consistent with a functional account of learning.

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