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A harbor seal can transfer the same/different concept to new stimulus dimensions

Scholtyssek, Christine; Kelber, Almut LU ; Hanke, Frederike D. and Dehnhardt, Guido (2013) In Animal Cognition 16(6). p.915-925
Abstract
We investigated the formation of an abstract concept of same/different in a harbor seal by means of a two-item same/different task. Stimuli were presented on a TFT monitor. The subject was trained to respond according to whether two horizontally aligned white shapes presented on a black background were the same, or different from each other, by giving a no-go or go response. Training comprised of four stages. First, the same/different task was trained with two shapes forming two same problems (A-A and B-B) and two different problems (A-B and B-A). After the learning criterion was reached, training proceeded with new pairs of shapes. In the second experimental stage, every problem was presented just five times before new problems were... (More)
We investigated the formation of an abstract concept of same/different in a harbor seal by means of a two-item same/different task. Stimuli were presented on a TFT monitor. The subject was trained to respond according to whether two horizontally aligned white shapes presented on a black background were the same, or different from each other, by giving a no-go or go response. Training comprised of four stages. First, the same/different task was trained with two shapes forming two same problems (A-A and B-B) and two different problems (A-B and B-A). After the learning criterion was reached, training proceeded with new pairs of shapes. In the second experimental stage, every problem was presented just five times before new problems were introduced. We showed that training to criterion with just two shapes resulted in item-specific learning, whereas reducing the number of presentations to five per problem led to the formation of a same/different learning set as well as some restricted relational learning. Training with trial-unique problems in the third stage of this study resulted in the formation of an abstract concept of same/different which was indicated by a highly significant performance in transfer tests with 120 novel problems. Finally, extra-dimensional transfer of the concept was tested. The harbor seal showed a significantly correct performance on transfer tests with 30 unfamiliar pattern and 60 unfamiliar brightness same/different problems, thus demonstrating that the concept is not restricted to the shape dimension originally learned, but can be generalized across stimulus dimensions. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Abstract concepts, Learning set, Same/different, Extra-dimensional, transfer, Pinnipeds, Harbor seal
in
Animal Cognition
volume
16
issue
6
pages
915 - 925
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000325821700007
  • scopus:84885845604
ISSN
1435-9456
DOI
10.1007/s10071-013-0624-0
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b86fdaae-69ae-40d2-b4ff-eafb9ed2bda8 (old id 4160233)
date added to LUP
2013-12-04 11:16:52
date last changed
2019-07-09 02:25:22
@article{b86fdaae-69ae-40d2-b4ff-eafb9ed2bda8,
  abstract     = {We investigated the formation of an abstract concept of same/different in a harbor seal by means of a two-item same/different task. Stimuli were presented on a TFT monitor. The subject was trained to respond according to whether two horizontally aligned white shapes presented on a black background were the same, or different from each other, by giving a no-go or go response. Training comprised of four stages. First, the same/different task was trained with two shapes forming two same problems (A-A and B-B) and two different problems (A-B and B-A). After the learning criterion was reached, training proceeded with new pairs of shapes. In the second experimental stage, every problem was presented just five times before new problems were introduced. We showed that training to criterion with just two shapes resulted in item-specific learning, whereas reducing the number of presentations to five per problem led to the formation of a same/different learning set as well as some restricted relational learning. Training with trial-unique problems in the third stage of this study resulted in the formation of an abstract concept of same/different which was indicated by a highly significant performance in transfer tests with 120 novel problems. Finally, extra-dimensional transfer of the concept was tested. The harbor seal showed a significantly correct performance on transfer tests with 30 unfamiliar pattern and 60 unfamiliar brightness same/different problems, thus demonstrating that the concept is not restricted to the shape dimension originally learned, but can be generalized across stimulus dimensions.},
  author       = {Scholtyssek, Christine and Kelber, Almut and Hanke, Frederike D. and Dehnhardt, Guido},
  issn         = {1435-9456},
  keyword      = {Abstract concepts,Learning set,Same/different,Extra-dimensional,transfer,Pinnipeds,Harbor seal},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {915--925},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Animal Cognition},
  title        = {A harbor seal can transfer the same/different concept to new stimulus dimensions},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10071-013-0624-0},
  volume       = {16},
  year         = {2013},
}