Long-Term Retention Of A Complex Operant In Pigeons

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Journal Of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes


Examined the effects of a 60-day retention interval on sequence performance when White Carneaux pigeons were required to peck each of 2 keys 4 times in any order for reinforcement. In Exp I, with 20 Ss, it was shown that if the retention interval contained no interpolated experimental experience, it had no effect on sequence performance. If Ss pecked a key for food on a VI schedule during the retention interval, sequence disruption occurred. In Exp II, with 10 Ss, it was found that variations in the location and color of a key pecked during VI had no effect on disruption. In Exp III, with 20 Ss, it was found that disruption did not occur when Ss were simply placed in the experimental chamber during the retention interval, or given response-independent food, or given VI reinforcement for hopping on a foot treadle. In Exp IV, with 15 Ss, disruption was found even when interpolated keypeck training demanded a temporal pattern different from what had occurred on the sequence task. In Exp V, with 5 Ss, it was demonstrated that disruption could be prevented if Ss were exposed to an alternation of the sequence and VI procedures during initial acquisition. (40 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)

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