Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 694–697 | Cite as

Imitation in Japanese quail: The role of reinforcement of demonstrator responding

  • Chana K. Akins
  • Thomas R. ZentallEmail author
Brief Reports


Imitative learning has been difficult to demonstrate in animals, partly because techniques have not adequately ruled out alternative accounts based on motivational and perceptual mechanisms (Zentall, 1996). Recently, it has been proposed that differences in the effects of observation of two very different responsetopographies would rule out such artifactual, alternative accounts (Akins & Zentall, 1996). In the present research, we confirmed that strong evidence for imitation can be found in Japanese quail, and that such imitation requires the imitator’s observation ofreinforced responding by the demonstrator. Thus, under the present conditions, it appears that an observer will imitate a demonstrated responseonly if it also observes the appetitive consequences of that response.


Japanese Quail Imitative Behavior Response Topography Imitative Learning Stimulus Enhancement 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of KentuckyLexington

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