Discrimination of Videos of Conspecific Behavior in Pigeons.
Kornstein, Joanna L.
- Abstract: Like all social animals, pigeons must be able to recognize and categorize conspecific behavior to respond appropriately. Previous studies with digital animated models have indicated that pigeons are able to discriminate on the basis of action categories. In this experiment, two pigeons were trained to discriminate between video clips depicting different categories of pigeon behavior.... read moreIn a go/no-go procedure, pigeons responded to video clips of conspecifics walking or courting in the motion condition, or random static frames from the same videos in the static condition. Stimuli were conditionally reinforced so that walking was positive and courtship was negative in the motion condition, with reversed assignments in the static condition. The purpose of the conditional reinforcement was to analyze the relative importance of motion cues based on the difference in performance on the two conditions. Both pigeons learned the dynamic discrimination faster and more accurately than the static discrimination. Transfer tests were conducted to further explore which cues were important in the discrimination of the videos. One pigeon demonstrated partial transfer of the motion discrimination to new videos of each behavior. Both pigeons demonstrated strong transfer to videos played in reverse and to videos with randomized frame order, and no transfer to blurred videos. These results indicate that the pigeons did not use motion cues in the discrimination, and that having multiple frames in the dynamic condition but only a single frame in the static condition may have caused them to discriminate videos better than images. These results imply that pigeons discriminate actions in recorded videos in a different manner than actions of digital models.read less