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Anim Cogn. 2012 Nov;15(6):1205-9. doi: 10.1007/s10071-012-0535-5. Epub 2012 Jul 18.

Monkeys perceive the orientation of objects relative to the vertical axis.

Author information

1
Department of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Kanrin, Inuyama, Aichi, Japan. mwakita@pri.kyoto-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Orientation processing is essential for segmenting contour from the background, which allows perception of the shape and stability of objects. However, little is known about how monkeys determine the degree and direction of orientation. In this study, to determine the reference axis for orientation perception in monkeys, post-discrimination generalization tests were conducted following discrimination training between the 67.5° and 112.5° orientations and between the 22.5° and 157.5° orientations. After discrimination training between the 67.5° and 112.5° orientations, the slope of the generalization gradient around the S(+) orientation was broad, while the slope was steep after discrimination training between the 22.5° and 157.5° orientations. Comparing the shapes of the gradients indicated that the subjective distance between the 67.5° and 112.5° orientations was small, while the subjective distance between the 22.5° and 157.5° orientation was large. In other words, the monkeys recognized that the former and the latter distances were 45° and 135° across the vertical axis, rather than 135° and 45° across the horizontal axis, respectively. These findings indicate that the monkeys determined the degree and direction of the tilt using the vertical reference.

PMID:
22806272
DOI:
10.1007/s10071-012-0535-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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