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Pigeons discriminate continuous versus discontinuous line segments

By Kimberly Kirkpatrick, Anna Wilkinson and Siobhan Johnston


Three experiments examined various facets of the perception of continuous and discontinuous line segments in pigeons. Pigeons were presented with 2 straight lines that were interrupted by a gap. In some instances, the lines were the same angle and were positioned so that they appeared (to human observers) to form a continuous line. In other instances, the lines were different angles or the same angle but spatially misaligned. The birds were trained to classify each stimulus as continuous or discontinuous using a go/no-go procedure. A series of tests followed in which the birds received novel discontinuous displays made up of familiar line segments, continuous and discontinuous stimuli made up of novel line segments (novel straight lines or curved lines), and familiar displays in which the gap was covered with a gray square. Results from the tests indicated that 2 of the 3 pigeons had learned a continuous-discontinuous categorization and that they appeared to use the relationship between the 2 line segments in discriminating the displays

Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1037/0097-7403.33.3.273
OAI identifier:

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