Thesis

Imitation of target sequences in pigeons

An alternating treatments design was used to examine the target sequence acquisition between pigeons being exposed to a model performing a four-target key peck sequence versus a control condition (no model). Model pigeons demonstrated a four-target key peck sequence in the presence of observer pigeons, after which the observer birds had opportunities to peck at the same keys. Four-target sequences were reinforced if it matched the model sequence observed. The control condition required a different four-target sequence, but did not include a model bird. Results showed one bird performing slightly better in the model condition, two birds performing better in the control condition, and one bird showing no differentiation between conditions. Study limitations and future research suggestions are discussed. Keywords: imitation, model, observational learning.

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