Relational non-matching to sample: Dissociation between acquisition of skill, rule and relational knowledge in capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella)
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Spinozzi, Lubrano, & Truppa (2004) reported that capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) acquire a generalized above/below (A/B) relational match-to-sample (RMTS) task in only 240 trials. Attempts to replicate these results using the same test procedure occurred only in the absence of “Clever Hans” controls (Hagmann, Dotov, Templer, & Thompson, 2007). Macaques using an automated testing procedure also failed to acquire the A/B RMTS task in over 10,000 trials (Thompson, Fagot, Flemming & Hoy-Kennedy, 2010). In the present study, we trained capuchin monkeys on a relational non-match-to-sample (RNMTS) task using a backward chaining procedure and trial-unique exemplars of both A/B and two-item identity/non-identity (I/NI) relational stimuli. All animals rapidly acquired the requisite RNMTS response sequence, but showed no evidence of discriminative control by either I/NI or A/B relational stimuli over the same number of trials in which Spinozzi et al. (2004) reported success by their animals. Thus far, our results point to a dissociation between the acquisition of a skill, rule and relational knowledge within the same procedure similar to descriptions offered by human models of performance (cf., Rasmussen, 1983).
Franklin and Marshall College Archives, Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2011
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