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Behav Processes. 2010 Oct;85(3):215-25. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2010.07.017. Epub 2010 Aug 11.

Toward a framework for the evaluation of feature binding in pigeons.

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Department of Psychology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA.


Pigeons were trained in a new procedure to test for visual binding errors between the dimensions of color and shape. In Experiment 1, pigeons learned to discriminate a target compound from 15 non-target compounds (constructed from four colors and shapes) by choosing one of two hoppers in a two-hopper choice task. The similarity of the target to non-target stimuli influenced choice responding. In Experiment 2, pigeons learned to detect a target compound when presented with a non-target compound within the same trial under conditions of simultaneity and sequentiality. Non-target trials were arranged to allow for the testing of binding errors (i.e., false identifications of the target on certain non-target trials). Transient evidence for binding errors in two of the birds occurred at the start of two-item training, but decreased with training. The experiments represent an important step toward developing a framework for the evaluation of visual feature binding in nonhumans.

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