Animal Learning & Behavior

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 97–106 | Cite as

Discrimination of geons by pigeons: The effects of variations in surface depiction

  • Michael E. YoungEmail author
  • Jessie J. PeissigEmail author
  • Edward A. Wasserman
  • Irving Biederman


We explored how changes in the depiction of the surface features of a simple volume (a geon) affected the pigeon’s recognition performance. Pigeons were trained to make a different keypeck response to each of four computer-rendered single-geon objects. In Experiment 1, the pigeons were tested with images of the original stimuli in which the light source was shifted from its original position, as well as with silhouettes and line drawings of these objects. All three types of stimulus variations resulted in marked drops in performance: above chance for silhouettes and light-change stimuli, but at chance for line drawings. In Experiment 2, the pigeons were tested with images of the original stimuli in which the contrast levels were either increased or decreased. These transformations resulted in very small drops in performance (except for the complete absence of contrast-a silhouette). These results indicated that the pigeons attended to the shape of the outside contour of an object and to the relative brightness of an object’s surface contours.


Line Drawing Animal Behavior Process Training Stimulus Contrast Stimulus Feral Pigeon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of IowaIowa City

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