Attentional Strategies in Concurrent Visual Search in Pigeons and Humans
Abstract: The strategic allocation of attention is necessary for everyday survival. In order to study attentional processes in a controlled environment, pigeons and humans were given simultaneously available discrimination "tasks" involving two concurrently available orthogonal dimensions in a 32-item visual search display. An equal number of stimuli in the two-dimensional tasks had reinforced and... read morenon-reinforced values so participants were either reinforced for selecting the eight brightest (or darkest) stimuli and the eight most vertical (or horizontal) stimuli. Humans preferentially stayed with one dimension before switching to the other, suggesting they used a sequential dimensional strategy. The pigeons did not preferentially stay or switch between the two dimensions on consecutive choices, ignoring the dimensionality of the stimuli and switching between dimensions depending on which item was most discriminable and likely to yield reward. Computational modeling was conducted to analyze the differences in human and pigeon response behaviors.
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2018.
Submitted to the Dept. of Psychology.
Advisor: Robert Cook.
Committee: Robert Cook, Nathan Ward, and Zarin Machanda.
Keyword: Experimental psychology.read less