Cerella J, 1990, "Pigeon pattern perception: limits on perspective invariance" Perception 19(2) 141 – 159
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Pigeon pattern perception: limits on perspective invariance
Received 4 October 1989
Abstract. Two experiments are reported in which the response of pigeons to perspective transformations of a pattern target was measured. In the first experiment an alphabet letter was taken as the pattern target (the 'positive') and the response to its perspective transforms was compared to the response to nontarget letters ('negatives') over the course of discrimination training. In the second experiment irregular quadrilaterals were used as positives and the responses to slight perspective deformations of the prototypes were compared to the responses to random transformations of the same magnitude under steady-state conditions. The amount of differential responding depended on the type of transformation. There was no differential response to targets rotated in the picture plane or around the horizontal axis in either experiment. There was differential response to small reductions and enlargements of the target. There was also differential response to translated targets, and this was seen irrespective of the amount of displacement. Results from targets rotated around the vertical axis were erratic, some target-plus-angle combinations elicited differential responding, but most did not. The erratic responses are attributed to symmetries in pattern elements that were abstracted as critical features. Pigeons therefore exhibit no true rotation invariance, limited size invariance, and complete shift invariance. It is argued that size invariance, but not position invariance, may depend on prior exposure to the alternatives.
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