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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Psychophysical Context Effects in Chickens Gallus Gallus Domesticus ( Hubbards )

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

A quantitative frame-of-reference ( FR ) model that has been successfully tested in humans was examined in generalization experiments with chickens. In Experiment 1, three groups of two chickens each were trained to discriminate between cubes different in volume and tested with a series of cubes with volumes either below, surrounding, or above the training stimuli. The obtained psychometric functions support the assumption that asymmetrical testing after two stimulus-two response training leads to the changes predicted by the FR model. In Experiment 2 shifts in the context defining the test series were administered by gradually enlarging the distance between training and test stimuli. While context effects were found in both experiments these were more pronounced in Experiment 2. The results support the general hypothesis that perception in animals undergoes context effects similar to those obtained in human subjects.

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