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Multiple Cue Use in Animals Open Access


Other title
multiple cue use in animals
cue use
spatial localization
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Legge, Eric LG
Supervisor and department
Marcia L. Spetch (Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Jeremy Caplan (Psychology)
Michael Brown (Psychology)
Elena Nicoladis (Psychology)
Cynthia A Paszkowski (Biological Sciences)
Christopher Sturdy (Psychology)
Department of Psychology

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Animals often redundantly encode multiple cues to aid in navigation and goal localization. While encoding multiple cues can help animals navigate and localize goals, (e.g., using multiple cues can increase an animals' search accuracy and robustness), encoding multiple cues can also create problems when one or more cues become displaced. In such situations, the displaced cue(s) provide information that conflicts with other nearby cues (creating what is commonly referred to as cue conflict). Cue conflict is not uncommon in the natural world, as many animals use small, easily displaced objects as landmarks for localizing goals. As such, animals have developed a number of strategies to cope with cue conflict, and here I report four studies that investigates the use of these strategies in both pigeons (Columba livia) and desert ants (Melophrous bagoti). Overall, I report evidence that suggests both pigeons and desert ants can utilize similar strategies to resolve cue conflict, even when these strategies are complex.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Legge, E. L. G., Spetch, M. L., & Batty, E. R. (2009). Pigeons’ (Columba livia) hierarchical organization of local and global cues in touch screen tasks. Behavioral Processes, 80, 128-139. doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2008.10.01Legge, E. L. G., Spetch, M. L., & Cheng, K. (2010). Not using the obvious: Desert ants, Melophrous bagoti, learn local vectors but not beacons in an arena. Animal Cognition, 13, 849-860. doi: 10.1007/s10071-010-0333-x

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