Use of Landmark Configuration in Pigeons and Humans: II. Generality Across Search Tasks

Marcia L. Spetch*, Suzanne E. MacDonald, Ken Cheng, Brie A. Linkenhoker, Debbie M. Kelly, Sharon R. Doerkson

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    131 Citations (Scopus)


    Pigeons and humans searched for a goal that was hidden in varied locations within a search space. The goal location was fixed relative to an array of identical landmarks. Pigeons searched on the laboratory floor, and humans searched on a table top or an outdoor field. In Experiment 1, the goal was centered in a square array of 4 landmarks. When the spacing between landmarks was increased, humans searched in the middle of the expanded array, whereas pigeons searched in locations that preserved distance and direction to an individual landmark. In Experiment 2, the goal was centered between and a perpendicular distance away from 2 landmarks aligned in the left-right dimension. When landmark spacing was increased, humans, but not pigeons, shifted their searching away from the landmarks along the perpendicular axis. These results parallel those obtained in touch-screen tasks. Thus, pigeons and humans differ in how they use landmark configuration.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)14-24
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Comparative Psychology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 1997


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