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Biol Lett. 2011 Oct 23;7(5):654-7. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0051. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

Spontaneous discrimination of possible and impossible objects by newly hatched chicks.

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1
Department of General Psychology, University of Padova, Padova, Italy. lucia.regolin@unipd.it

Abstract

Four-month-old infants can integrate local cues provided by two-dimensional pictures and interpret global inconsistencies in structural information to discriminate between possible and impossible objects. This leaves unanswered the issue of the relative contribution of maturation of biologically predisposed mechanisms and of experience with real objects, to the development of this capability. Here we show that, after exposure to objects in which junctions providing cues to global structure were occluded, day-old chicks selectively approach the two-dimensional image that depicted the possible rather than the impossible version of a three-dimensional object, after restoration of the junctions. Even more impressively, completely naive newly hatched chicks showed spontaneous preferences towards approaching two-dimensional depictions of structurally possible rather than impossible objects. These findings suggest that the vertebrate brain can be biologically predisposed towards approaching a two-dimensional image representing a view of a structurally possible three-dimensional object.

PMID:
21429912
PMCID:
PMC3169041
DOI:
10.1098/rsbl.2011.0051
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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