Discrimination reversal learning in newts
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The results of field research suggest that, contrary to being behaviorally inflexible, some amphibians may have the ability to respond effectively to changing environments. The performance of seven newts (Triturus viridescens) was studied across 20 successive reversals of a spatial discrimination problem in a dry T-maze. Submersion in shaded water served as reinforcement for correct responses. The subjects showed a decrease in mean errors across reversals and across ordinal trials within sessions. These results are discussed in terms of the importance of using biologically relevant methodologies in the study of comparative animal learning.
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