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J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process. 1986 Oct;12(4):394-402.

A psychophysical measure of pitch discrimination loss resulting from a frequency range constraint in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

Abstract

Earlier research (Hulse & Cynx, 1985) revealed that a number of species of songbirds acquired a pitch discrimination between rising and falling sequences in an arbitrarily defined training range of frequencies, but then failed to generalize the discrimination to new frequency ranges--a frequency range constraint. The two experiments here provide a psychophysical estimate of how pitch discrimination deteriorated in one species as sequences were stepped out from the training range. The gradient showing loss of discrimination was much sharper than would have been anticipated by stimulus generalization or the training procedures, and appeared unaffected by the removal of rising and falling frequency information. The frequency range constraint and its psychophysical properties have implications both for the analysis of birdsong and the study of animal cognition.

PMID:
3772303
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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