Symbolic matching by pigeons: rate of learning complex discriminations predicted from simple discriminations

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Science  21 Feb 1975:
Vol. 187, Issue 4177, pp. 662-664
DOI: 10.1126/science.1114318


Pigeons had no greater difficulty learning a complex discrimination involving arbitrary among stimuli (symbolic matching) than one involving interrelations based on stimulus similarity (matching-to-sample). The relative rates of acquisitions of matching and symblic matching may be accounted for by the discriminability between sample stimuli and between comparison stimuli, with the former playing the more important role.