Object orientation as a dimension for stimulus generalization

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Michael Pullen (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Ernest Lumsden

Abstract: The primary purpose of the present investigation was to determine if the complex stimulus continuum of orientation of a three-dimensional object could serve as a dimension for stimulus generalization. Having confirmed the behavioral dimensionality of object orientation, the study was addressed to the shape of the generalization gradient for this dimension relative to the form of generalization gradients obtained for less complex stimulus dimensions. The Ss were two groups of White Carneau pigeons, each group receiving different discrimination training. However, both groups were tested for generalization along the object orientation continuum. The first group (n = 4) received discrimination training involving three points on the object orientation continuum (S+ = 90 deg, S- = 30 deg and 150 deg), thus making object orientation relevant for responding (intradimensional training). For the second group (n = 3), a discrimination was trained between the presence of the object (S+) and the complete absence of the object (S-), thereby rendering object orientation irrelevant for the development of the discrimination (interdimensional training). The gradients obtained following the intradimensional training demonstrated that object orientation can constitute a dimension of stimulus generalization. The gradients generated following the interdimensional training were flatter, as is generally found to be the case for gradients for less complex dimensions, following similar training conditions. It was pointed out that a single dimensional component of the multidimensional stimulus of object orientation could be the relevant behavioral dimension. It was also suggested that the present study demonstrates the adequacy of the stimulus generalization paradigm in dealing with complex stimulus continua.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1969
Stimulus generalization
Pigeons $x Experiments

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