The Role of Adduction in Self-Discrimination

Posted July 10th, 2011 at 8:30 pm.

Abstract: Farrah Khan

Mentor: Paul Neuman

Adduction refers to the process by which novel behavior is produced from a combination of new combinations of stimulus properties that control distinct functional classes; the novel coming together of different repertoires. Andronis and Layng (1997), trained pigeons to key peck and then later they were introduced to alternating keys that either lowered or raised their own response requirements. When a second pigeon was introduced in an adjacent chamber and visible to the first pigeon, the first pigeon’s alternating keys no longer effected their own response requirements, but did effect the adjacent pigeon’s requirements. The results indicate that the pigeons consistently raised the response requirement in the adjacent chamber even though the switching keys had no impact on their own response requirements or rate of reinforcement. This was accounted for in terms of contingency adduction; the combining of responses already part of the pigeons’ repertoires. In another area of research, Shimp (1982) trained pigeons to peck a center key either slowly (long IRT’s) or quickly (long IRT’s). Then, pigeons were required to peck side keys after the center key; red after long IRT’s and
green after short IRT’s on the center key.  That is, pigeons were required to discriminate their own behavior; pecking green after pecking quickly and pecking red after pecking slowly. It is possible that adduction is part of the processes by which pigeons can discriminate their own behavior. The goal of the current research is to merge these two lines of research and show that discriminating one’s own behavior involves the synthesis of similar responses to produce a more complex repertoire.

Filed under: 2011,Khan, Farrah,Neuman, Dr. Paul by Michelle Han

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