Maternal Influence in Learning by Observation in Kittens

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Science  14 Nov 1969:
Vol. 166, Issue 3907, pp. 901-903
DOI: 10.1126/science.166.3907.901


Kittens who observed their mothers perform a stimulus-controlled response (lever pressing to a visual stimulus for food) acquired and discriminated that response sooner than kittens who observed a strange female cat's performance. Kittens exposed to a trial and error condition never acquired the response. Initial differences in attentiveness to demonstrator performances disappeared by the second day. "Altruism" (food sharing) and other forms of social behavior were exhibited by both mother and stranger demonstrators.

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