More psychophysics of the pigeon's use of landmarks

Ken Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-863
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A
Volume166
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1990
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Landmarks
  • Pigeon
  • Vector
  • Weber's Law

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