Effects of presentation method on acquisition speed of an identity matching-to-sample task

Research has demonstrated the acquisition speed of a skill/behavior may be altered by a large quantity of variables. In this research, acquisition speed was measured to determine which method of presentation of the comparison stimuli resulted in the fastest acquisition of a matching-to-sample task. Four pigeons were trained on an identity matching-to-sample task, with simultaneous presentation of comparison stimuli and successive presentation of comparison stimuli. An alternating treatments design was utilized. Results indicated that, although pigeons acquired the matching-to-sample task in both the simultaneous and the successive presentation methods, they acquired the task more quickly when the comparison stimuli were presented simultaneously. Implications for future research with regard to selecting the presentation method to increase acquisition speed, maintenance, and generalization are discussed.