Assessing Stimulus Control in a Discrimination Task with Compound Stimuli: Evaluating Testing Procedures and Tracking Eye Fixations
- 170 Downloads
Experiments with pigeons have suggested that the way stimuli are arranged in tests affects the demonstration of the stimulus control established during training. The present study aimed to replicate these findings with humans exposed to a simultaneous-discrimination task with compound stimuli. Adults were exposed to a discrimination task, and their eye fixations were recorded. Two compound stimuli were used: a triangle and a red circle, and a square and a green circle. During Phase 1, responses to the first compound were reinforced, and during Phase 2, these contingencies were reversed. Following training in each phase, the components of the stimulus compound were separated and presented across different tests to assess stimulus control by each stimulus component. Participants tended to choose the component on which their eyes had most frequently fixated during training. However, the S+ component that was associated with fewer fixations also controlled participants’ choices. Results on tests replicate previous findings with pigeons. Possible effects of peripheral vision are discussed.
KeywordsAttention Compound stimulus Eye movements Humans Simultaneous discrimination
During the preparation of the manuscript, the authors were supported by the following grants: William Ferreira Perez by FAPESP (doctoral fellowship, Grant # 2011/19125-2), Peter Endemann by CNPq (doctoral fellowship, Grant # 140636/2009-9), Candido V. B. B. Pessôa by FAPESP (post-doc fellowship, Grant # 2011/19125-2), and Gerson Y. Tomanari by CNPq. Data collection and preparation of the manuscript were supported by CNPq (Grant # 573972/2008-7) and FAPESP (Grant # 08/57705-8), both at the Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia sobre Comportamento, Cognição e Ensino (INCT-ECCE), coordinated by Dr. Deisy G. de Souza (UFSCar).
We are grateful to Saulo Velasco, Erik Arntzen, the editor and an anonymous reviewer for helpful comments on early versions of the manuscript.
- Dube, W. V., & Hiris, J. (1999). Match to sample program (Version 11.6.7) [Computer software]. Walthan, MA: E. K. Shriver Center of Mental Retardation.Google Scholar
- Dube, W. V., Lombard, K. M., Farren, K. M., Flusser, D. S., Balsamo, L. M., & Fowler, T. R. (1999). Eye tracking assessment of stimulus overselectivity in individuals with mental retardation. Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Bulletin, 17, 8–14.Google Scholar
- Dube, W. V., Lombard, K. M., Farren, K. M., Flusser, D. S., Balsamo, L. M., Fowler, T. R., & Tomanari, G. Y. (2003). Stimulus overselectivity and observing behavior in individuals with mental retardation. In S. Soraci & K. Murata-Soraci (Eds.), Visual information processing (pp. 109–123). London: Proeger.Google Scholar
- Dube, W. V., Balsamo, L. M., Fowler, T. R., Dickson, C. A., Lombard, K. M., & Tomanari, G. Y. (2006). Observing behavior topography in delayed matching to multiple samples. The Psychological Record, 56, 233–244.Google Scholar
- Dube, W. V., Dickson, C. A., Balsamo, L. M., O’Donnell, K. L., Tomanari, G. Y., Farren, K. M., . . . McIlvane, W. J. (2010). Observing behavior and atypically restricted stimulus control. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 94, 297–313.Google Scholar
- Magnusson, A. (2002). Topography of eye movements under select and reject control. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Northeastern University, Boston.Google Scholar
- Perez, W. F. (2008). Movimentos dos olhos e topografias de controle de estímulos em treino de discriminação condicional e testes de equivalência (Master’s thesis, Programa de Pós-graduação Psicologia Experimental, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo). Retrieved from http://www.teses.usp.br.
- Pessôa, C., Huziwara, E., Perez, W. F., Endemann, P., & Tomanari, G. Y. (2009). Eye fixations to figures in a four-choice situation with luminance balanced areas: Evaluating practice effects. Journal of Eye Movement Research, 2(5), 3, 1–6. Retrieved from http://www.jemr.org/online/2/5/3.
- Schroeder, S. R. (1997). Selective eye fixations during transfer of discriminative stimulus control. In D. M. Baer & E. M. Pinkston (Eds.), Environment and behavior (pp. 97–110). Boulder: Westview.Google Scholar
- Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar