Pigeons (Columba livia) were trained to find hidden food in a sunken well within a square box. After learning the location, they were tested occasionally with the well and food absent. The resulting search distributions were symmetric about the peak, implying a linear scale of measurement for distance. The spread of the distribution was a constant proportion of the distance to the nearest landmark, supporting Weber's Law. As well, in one test in which a landmark was shifted in a diagonal direction, the pigeons shifted their peak place of search both in the direction of landmark shift and in the direction orthogonal to the direction of landmark shift. This contradicted a pattern found earlier: For landmark shifts along the principal axes of the square box, pigeons only shifted their peak place of search in the direction of landmark shift, not in the orthogonal direction. The vector sum model, which predicts shifts of the peak place of search only in the direction of landmark shift, is disconfirmed and must be revised.
- Weber's Law