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Dynamic object recognition in pigeons and humans


Vuong,  QC
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Spetch, M., Friedman, A., & Vuong, Q. (2006). Dynamic object recognition in pigeons and humans. Learning and Behavior, 34(3), 215-228. doi:10.3758/BF03192877.

We investigated the role of dynamic information in human and pigeon object recognition. Both species were trained to discriminate between two objects that each had a characteristic motion, so that either cue could be used to perform the task successfully. The objects were either easy or difficult to decompose into parts. At test, the learned objects could appear in either their learned motions, the reverse of the learned motions, an entirely new motion, or, a new object could appear in one of the learned motions. For humans, any change in the learned motion produced a decrement in performance for both decomposable and non-decomposable objects, but participants did not respond differentially to new objects that appeared in the learned motions. Pigeons showed the same pattern of responding as humans for decomposable objects, except that pigeons responded differentially to new object in the learned motions. For non-decomposable objects, pigeons used motion cues exclusively. We suggest that dynamic information may be processed differently by pigeons and humans as a function of whether objects are decomposable.