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Thesis (M.S.)

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Animal intelligence, Pigeon


The matching-to-sample (MTS) task, as pointed out by Ginsberg (1957), is a "special case" of a conditional discrimination problem. It is "special" in that the conditional stimulus is identical to the stimulus the subject is to choose. Thus, in the MTS task, the subject can use either the physical properties of the sample (ST) stimulus directly, or employ some mediating event as the discriminative stimulus. The present study is an attempt to isolate the functional discriminative stimulus in the MTS task. The study varied the response requirements to the STs, and hypothesized the information (i.e. resnonse produced cues or stimuli) induced by these requirements provides the basis for correct matching behavior. Before proceeding to the proposed method of testing this hypothesis a description of the MTS task will be given, along with a brief review of the theories and data leading to this research.