Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

Previous Page


Paper Session #30
Identity in Animals
Saturday, May 28, 2005
1:30 PM–2:20 PM
Boulevard C (2nd floor)
Area: EAB
Chair: Derek A. Hamilton (University of New Mexico)
The Necessity of Identity Training for Emergent Symmetry in Pigeons
Domain: Basic Research
ANDREA FRANK (University of Iowa), Edward Wasserman (University of Iowa)
Abstract: In previous experiments, we found clear evidence of emergent symmetry in pigeons if identity training and arbitrary training are intermixed from the outset in a successive match-to-sample (MTS) design. The successive MTS design avoids spatial location problems in the simultaneous MTS design, but it does not avoid the temporal location problem inherent in successive MTS. By intermixing identity matching and arbitrary matching, the temporal location problem is eliminated in successive MTS. Our current presentation will report data that decide if identity matching is necessary in order to reveal emergent symmetry in pigeons or if simply controlling for temporal location without identity training is necessary.
Derived Symmetry and Identity Matching in Rats
Domain: Basic Research
DEREK A. HAMILTON (University of New Mexico), Sam Lacanilao (University of Lethbridge), Jamus O'Brien (University of Lethbridge), Robert Sutherland (University of Lethbridge), Michael J. Dougher (University of New Mexico)
Abstract: Whether non-human animals display flexible behaviors characteristic of stimulus equivalence has been the subject of considerable debate. In the present study we trained rats in a visual matching-to-sample task. During each trial rats were placed in a “sample” pool in which swimming to a sample allowed escape from the water, and transferred to a “choice” pool in which swimming to one of two stimuli allowed escape. Animals correctly matched novel sample stimuli to the corresponding (matched) choice stimulus with a high degree of accuracy. Animals were then trained in a set of 3 sample-choice paired associates. One animal that met criterion (11/12 correct for 3 days) and one animal that failed to meet criterion were given 12 symmetry test trials (1/session at the end of each daily training session). A former choice was presented in the sample pool and two former samples were presented in the choice pool. The rat that met criterion performed correctly on the 6 critical test trials, whereas, the animal that failed to meet criterion performed near chance. The results provide positive evidence that rats can derive symmetrical relations among stimuli, suggesting that these training procedures may yield positive evidence for stimulus equivalence in the rat.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh