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Discrimination of structure: I. Implications for connectionist theories of discrimination learning.

George, David N.; Ward-Robinson, Jasper; Pearce, John M.

Authors

Jasper Ward-Robinson

John M. Pearce

Abstract

In each of 4 experiments animals were given a structural discrimination task that involved visual patterns composed of identical features, but the spatial relations among the features were different for reinforced and nonreinforced trials. In Experiment 1 the stimuli were pairs of colored circles, and pigeons were required to discriminate between patterns that were the mirror image of each other. A related task was given to rats in Experiment 2. Subjects solved these discriminations. For Experiment 3, some pigeons were given a discrimination similar to that used in Experiment 1, which they solved, whereas others received a comparable task but with 3 colored circles present on every trial, which they failed to solve. The findings from Experiment 3 were replicated in Experiment 4 using different patterns. The results are difficult to explain by certain connectionist theories of discrimination learning, unless they are modified to take account of the way in which compound stimuli are structured.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2001
Journal JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-ANIMAL BEHAVIOR PROCESSES
Print ISSN 0097-7403
Electronic ISSN 0097-7403
Publisher American Psychological Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 3
Pages 206-218
Institution Citation George, D. N., Ward-Robinson, J., & Pearce, J. M. (2001). Discrimination of structure: I. Implications for connectionist theories of discrimination learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 27(3), 206-218. https://doi.org/10.1037/0097-7403.27.3.206
DOI https://doi.org/10.1037/0097-7403.27.3.206
Keywords Experimental and Cognitive Psychology; Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics