Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford


  • Anthony A. Wright
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_755-1
Investigations of animal memory have traditionally been studied in terms of how long animals can remember single items, often in delayed matching-to-sample tasks. Results from some delayed matching-to-sample tasks can be seen in Fig. 1a for capuchin monkeys (filled squares), macaque monkeys (filled circles, diamonds), and pigeons (unfilled circles). These studies all used just two stimuli (See Wright, 2007for references of these studies and further discussion). The sample presented on each trial was one of the two stimuli, followed by a delay and then a choice between these two stimuli for which stimulus matched the sample. With no delay (0s), performance accuracy was more than 80% correct. But performance rapidly declined, reaching 50% correct (chance performance) in 1 min or less. At issue is what do such results tell us about animal memory? Such results are unlikely to convey limits of the animal’s memory because the animals would not be able to survive (e.g., remember food source...
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Devkar, D. T., & Wright, A. A. (2016). Event based proactive interference by rhesus monkeys. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 23, 1474–1482.  https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-016-1005-x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Jitsumori, M., Wright, A. A., & Cook, R. G. (1988). Long-term proactive interference and novelty enhancement effects in monkey list memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 14, 146–154.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Jitsumori, M., Wright, A. A., & Shyan, M. R. (1989). Buildup and release from proactive interference in a rhesus monkey journal of experimental psychology. Animal Behavior Processes, 15, 329–337.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Keppel, G., & Underwood, B. J. (1962). Proactive inhibition in short-term retention of single items. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 1, 153–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Overman, W. H., & Doty, R. W. (1980). Prolonged visual memory in macaques and man. Neuroscience, 5, 1825–1831.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Sands, S. F., & Wright, A. A. (1980). Serial probe recognition performance by a rhesus monkey and a human with 10- and 20-item lists. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 6, 386–396.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Wright, A. A. (1999). Auditory list memory and interference processes in monkeys. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 25, 284–296.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Wright, A. A. (2007). An experimental analysis of memory processing. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 88, 405–433.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. Wright, A. A., Urcuioli, P. J., & Sands, S. F. (1986). Proactive interference in animal memory research. In D. F. Kendrick, M. Rilling, & R. Denny (Eds.), Theories of animal memory (pp. 101–125). Englewood Cliffs: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  10. Wright, A. A., Katz, J. S., & Ma, W. (2012). How to be proactive about interference: Lessons from animal memory. Psychological Science, 23, 453–458.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797611430096.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, McGovern Medical SchoolThe University of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonHoustonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kenneth Leising
    • 1
  1. 1.Texas Christian UniversityForth WorthUSA