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  1. Cue integration in spatial search for jointly learned landmarks but not for separately learned landmarks--Manuscript [Download]

    Title: Cue integration in spatial search for jointly learned landmarks but not for separately learned landmarks--Manuscript
    Creator: Du, Yu
    Description: We investigated how humans use multiple landmarks to locate a goal. Participants searched for a hidden goal location along a line between two distinct landmarks on a computer screen. On baseline trials, the location of the landmarks and goal varied, but the distance between each of the landmarks and the goal was held constant, with one landmark always closer to the goal. In Experiment 1, some baseline trials provided both landmarks, and some provided only one landmark. On probe trials, both landmarks were shifted apart relative to the previously-learned goal location. Participants searched between the locations specified by the two landmarks and their search locations were shifted more toward the nearer landmark, suggesting a weighted integration of the conflicting landmarks. Moreover, the observed variance in search responses when both cues were presented in their normal locations was reduced compared to the variance on tests with single landmarks. However, the variance reduction and the weightings of the landmarks did not always show Bayesian optimality. In Experiment 2, some participants were trained only with each of the single landmarks. On subsequent tests with the two cues in conflict, searching did not shift toward the nearer landmark and the variance of search responses of these single-cue trained participants was larger than their variance on single-landmark tests, and even larger than the variance predicted by using the two landmarks alternatively on different trials. Taken together, these results indicate that cue combination occurs only when the landmarks are presented together during the initial learning experience.
    Subjects: spatial memory, cue integration, cue conflict, landmark, Bayesian integration
  2. Cue integration in spatial search for jointly learned landmarks but not for separately learned landmarks--Supplementary materials [Download]

    Title: Cue integration in spatial search for jointly learned landmarks but not for separately learned landmarks--Supplementary materials
    Creator: Du, Yu
    Description: We investigated how humans use multiple landmarks to locate a goal. Participants searched for a hidden goal location along a line between two distinct landmarks on a computer screen. On baseline trials, the location of the landmarks and goal varied, but the distance between each of the landmarks and the goal was held constant, with one landmark always closer to the goal. In Experiment 1, some baseline trials provided both landmarks, and some provided only one landmark. On probe trials, both landmarks were shifted apart relative to the previously-learned goal location. Participants searched between the locations specified by the two landmarks and their search locations were shifted more toward the nearer landmark, suggesting a weighted integration of the conflicting landmarks. Moreover, the observed variance in search responses when both cues were presented in their normal locations was reduced compared to the variance on tests with single landmarks. However, the variance reduction and the weightings of the landmarks did not always show Bayesian optimality. In Experiment 2, some participants were trained only with each of the single landmarks. On subsequent tests with the two cues in conflict, searching did not shift toward the nearer landmark and the variance of search responses of these single-cue trained participants was larger than their variance on single-landmark tests, and even larger than the variance predicted by using the two landmarks alternatively on different trials. Taken together, these results indicate that cue combination occurs only when the landmarks are presented together during the initial learning experience.
    Subjects: spatial memory, cue integration, cue conflict, landmark, Bayesian integration
  3. Cue Interaction between Buildings and Street Configurations during Reorientation in Familiar and Unfamiliar Outdoor Environments [Download]

    Title: Cue Interaction between Buildings and Street Configurations during Reorientation in Familiar and Unfamiliar Outdoor Environments
    Creator: Lin Wang
    Description: Two experiments investigated how people use buildings and street configurations to reorient in large-scale environments. In immersive virtual environments, participants learned objects’ locations in an intersection consisting of four streets. The objects’ locations were specified by two cues: a building and/or the street configuration. During the test, participants localized objects with either or both cues. Participants were divided into a competition group and a no-competition group. The competition group learned both cues whereas the no-competition group learned the single cue for trials with single testing cue. For the trials with both testing cues, both groups learned both cues and these two cues were placed at the original locations or displaced relative to each other during testing. Critically, the familiarity with the environment was also manipulated: in Experiment 1, participants learned the same building at the same corner of the same intersection for all trials (familiar); in Experiment 2, participants learned different buildings at different corners of different intersections across trials (unfamiliar). The results showed that the performance in the competition group was impaired in unfamiliar environments but not in familiar environments. When displacement occurred, the participants’ preference in unfamiliar environments was determined by the response accuracy of using the two cues respectively, whereas participants in the familiar environment preferred the street configuration with a probability higher than what was solely determined by response accuracy based on individual cues. When the two cues were consistent with each other, they were combined additively in both familiar and unfamiliar environments.
    Subjects: reorientation; large-scale environment; familiarity; cue combination; cue competition
    Date Created: 2017/07/24
  4. Manuscript [Download]

    Title: Manuscript
    Creator: McMillan, Neil
    Description: Animals make surprising anticipatory and perseverative errors when faced with a midsession reversal of reinforcer contingencies on a choice task with highly predictable stimulus-time relationships. In the current study, we asked whether pigeons would anticipate changes in reinforcement when the reinforcer contingencies for each stimulus were not fixed in time. We compared the responses of pigeons on a simultaneous choice task when the initially correct stimulus was randomized or alternated across sessions. Pigeons showed more errors overall compared to the typical results of a standard midsession reversal procedure and they did not show the typical anticipatory errors prior to the contingency reversal. Probe tests that manipulated the spacing between trials also suggested that timing of the session exerted little control of pigeons’ behavior. The temporal structure of the experimental session thus appears to be an important determinant for animals’ use of time in midsession reversal procedures.
    Subjects: reversal learning, interval timing, choice, pigeons
  5. Black-capped chickadees categorize songs based on features that vary geographically [Download]

    Title: Black-capped chickadees categorize songs based on features that vary geographically
    Creator: Allison H Hahn
    Description: The songs of many songbird species vary geographically, yet, the songs of black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) show remarkable consistency across most of the species’ North American range. Previous research has described subtle variations in the song of this species by comparing songs produced by males at distant parts of the species’ range (British Columbia and Ontario). In the current study, we used an operant discrimination task to examine if birds classify the songs produced by males in these two previously-studied locations as belonging to distinct open-ended categories. In both experiments, when birds were presented with new songs, they continued to respond to songs from the same geographic location as the songs that were reinforced during initial discrimination training, suggesting that birds were using open-ended categorization. Additionally, we presented birds with songs in which we manipulated acoustic features in order to examine the acoustic mechanisms used during discrimination; results provide support that birds use the duration of the song when discriminating, but the results also suggest that birds used additional acoustic features. Taken together, these experiments show that black-capped chickadees classify songs into open-ended, geography-based categories, and provide compelling evidence that perceptible acoustic differences exist in a vocalization that is seemingly consistent across the species’ range.
    Subjects: acoustic discrimination, black-capped chickadee, operant conditioning, song, categorization, geographical variation
  6. Moving from perceptual to functional categories in songbirds [Download]

    Title: Moving from perceptual to functional categories in songbirds
    Creator: Christopher B. Sturdy
    Description: Category perception, as Herrnstein (1990) defined it, is a powerful and pervasive cognitive ability possessed by every species in which it has been adequately tested. We have studied category perception of vocal communication signals in songbirds for over 20 years. Our first studies provided us with an understanding of songbird vocal category production and perception, clarifying perceptual categorization and the underlying mechanisms. More recent work has moved towards understanding functional vocal categories such as sex, dominance, species, and geography. Some of our most recent work has moved into the realm of conceptual knowledge, with studies aimed at understanding birds’ ability to deal with concepts of sameness and danger (i.e., threat level). Here we provide key examples that effectively show the wide range of abilities possessed and used by songbirds.
    Subjects: auditory perception, acoustic discrimination, categorization, chickadee, songbirds, vocalizations
    Date Created: 2016
  7. Chickadee behavioural response to varying threat levels of predator and conspecific calls [Download]

    Title: Chickadee behavioural response to varying threat levels of predator and conspecific calls
    Creator: Jenna V. Congdon
    Description: Chickadees produce many vocalizations, including chick-a-dee calls which they use as a mobbing call in the presence of predators. Previous research has shown that chickadees produce more D notes in their mobbing calls in response to high-threat predators compared to low-threat predators, and may perceive predator and corresponding mobbing vocalizations as similar. We presented black-capped chickadees with playback of high- and low-threat predator calls and conspecific mobbing calls, and non-threat heterospecific and reversed mobbing calls, to examine vocal and movement behavioural responses. Chickadees produced more chick-a-dee calls in response to playback of calls produced by a high-threat predator compared to calls produced by a low-threat predator, and to reversed high-threat mobbing calls compared to normal (i.e., non-reversed) highthreat mobbing calls. Chickadees also vocalized more in response to all playback conditions consisting of conspecific mobbing calls compared to a silent baseline period. The number of D notes that the subjects produced was similar to previous findings; chickadees produced approximately one to three D notes per call in response to low-threat mobbing calls, and produced more calls containing four to five D notes in response to high-threat mobbing calls, although this difference in the number of D notes per call was not significant. The difference in chickadees’ production of tseet calls across playback conditions approached significance as chickadees called more in response to conspecific mobbing calls, but not in response to heterospecific calls. General movement activity decreased in response to playback of conspecific-produced vocalizations, but increased in response to heterospecific-produced vocalizations, suggesting that chickadees may mobilize more in response to predator playback in preparation for a “fight or flight” situation. These results also suggest that chickadees may produce more mobbing calls in response to high-threat predator vocalizations as an attempt to initiate mobbing with conspecifics, while they produce fewer mobbing calls in response to a low-threat predator that a chickadee could outmaneuver.
    Subjects: animal behaviour, black-capped chickadee, predator alarm, mobbing call, communication, playback, songbird
    Date Created: 2016
  8. Piloting Systems Reset Path Integration Systems during Position Estimation [Download]

    Title: Piloting Systems Reset Path Integration Systems during Position Estimation
    Creator: Lei Zhang
    Subjects: Psychology
  9. When is a preposition a linking element?ilingual children's acquisition of French compound nouns [Download]

    Title: When is a preposition a linking element?ilingual children's acquisition of French compound nouns
    Creator: Nicoladis, E.
    Description: French is traditionally considered a non-compounding language because Speakers prefer to use lexical forms such äs NPN instead of N-N compounds. However, the preposition in these French NPNs shares similarities with meaningless linking elements in compounds in other languages. It is therefore hypothesized that children will consider the prepositions in NPNs to add no meaning to the construction and will treat N-N compounds äs they do NPNs. To test this possibility, French-English bilingual children's ordering of complex lexical items with and without prepositions was compared in French and English. A group of same-age monolingual English children acted äs a control group. The results showed that the bilingual children misordered French compounds equally often when they included or did not include a preposition. In contrast, the use of an English preposition in English expressions improved their correct ordering. One possible Interpretation of these results is that bilingual children do not consider French prepositions äs meaningful elements within NPNs. If so, the prepositions in French NPN are in an intermediate state between prepositions and linking elements.
    Subjects: English, Language
    Date Created: 2001
  10. Sex differences in the use of indirect aggression in adult Canadians [Download]

    Title: Sex differences in the use of indirect aggression in adult Canadians
    Creator: Moroschan, G.
    Description: Evolutionary psychologists have argued that the emergence of language was associated with reducing direct physical aggression and easing social functioning in small groups. If this is so, then males should use verbal or indirect aggression more frequently than females since they engage in more direct aggression. A recent study found no significant differences between men and women's self-reports of indirect aggression in a U.K. sample. We administered the same questionnaire to 175 male and 311 female Canadian university students. Men in this population reported using indirect aggression more frequently than women. The Canadian participants generally reported using indirect aggression less frequently than the U.K. study sample did, particularly the women. These results suggest that there are cultural differences in adults' frequency of use of indirect aggression. We review a number of possible reasons to account for these different results.
    Subjects: Sex differences, Indirect aggression, Self-reports
    Date Created: 2009