Transfer to intermediate forms following concept discrimination by pigeons: chimeras and morphs.
Lea, Stephen E.G.
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Two experiments examined pigeons' generalization to intermediate forms following training of concept discriminations. In Experiment 1, the training stimuli were sets of images of dogs and cats, and the transfer stimuli were head/body chimeras, which humans tend to categorize more readily in terms of the head part rather than the body part. In Experiment 2, the training stimuli were sets of images of heads of dogs and cats, and the intermediate stimuli were computer-generated morphs. In both experiments, pigeons learned the concept discrimination quickly and generalized with some decrement to novel instances of the categories. In both experiments, transfer tests were carried out with intermediate forms generated from both familiar and novel exemplars of the training sets. In Experiment 1, the pigeons' transfer performance, unlike that of human infants exposed to similar stimuli, was best predicted by the body part of the stimulus when the chimeras were formed from familiar exemplars. Spatial frequency analysis of the stimuli showed that the body parts were richer in high spatial frequencies than the head parts, so these data are consistent with the hypothesis that categorization is more dependent on local stimulus features in pigeons than in humans. There was no corresponding trend when the chimeras were formed from novel exemplars. In Experiment 2, when morphs of training stimuli were used, response rates declined smoothly as the proportion of the morph contributed by the positive stimulus fell, although results with morphs of novel stimuli were again less orderly.
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 2004, 82(2):125-141
PubMed Central ID