Document Detail

Pigeons prefer conditional stimuli over their absence: a comment on Roberts et al. (2009).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20718554     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
Recently, Roberts et al. (2009) have suggested that pigeons performing delayed matching-to-sample appear unwilling to request to see the sample again (or even for the first time) prior to choice, even if that choice would result in an increase in matching accuracy. In each of their four experiments, however, presentation (Experiments 3 & 4) or representation of the sample (Experiments 1 & 2) resulted in an added delay to reinforcement. Thus, the pigeons had to choose between an immediate reinforcer on about 50% of the trials and a delayed reinforcer on a significantly higher percentage of the trials. In the present research, when we equated the two alternatives for delay to reinforcement, we found that pigeons generally showed a significant preference for trials with a relevant sample over trials with an irrelevant sample. When the contingencies were reversed, most of the pigeons reversed their preference. Although these results do not present evidence for metacognition, they do show that pigeons are sensitive to the potential for a higher probability of reinforcement when delay to reinforcement is controlled.
Thomas R Zentall; Jessica P Stagner
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comment; Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of experimental psychology. Animal behavior processes     Volume:  36     ISSN:  1939-2184     ISO Abbreviation:  J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process     Publication Date:  2010 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-10-26     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7504289     Medline TA:  J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  506-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
2010 APA, all rights reserved
Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0044, USA.
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Comment On:
J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process. 2009 Apr;35(2):129-42   [PMID:  19364222 ]

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