Stimulus control in a go/no-go procedure with compound stimuli with pigeons

UMMS Affiliation

Shriver Center; Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Experimental Analysis of Behavior


Our previous study using a go/no-go procedure with compound stimuli taught pigeons to peck at two-component compounds A1B1, A2B2, B1C1, B2C2 and refrain from pecking at A1B2, A2B1, B1C2, B2C1. Subjects showed training-consistent responding in tests presenting compounds rotated 180 degrees (BA and CB relations) but not recombined (AC and CA relations). It is unclear whether the responses to BA and CB stimuli were controlled by the relation between the components (conditional discrimination) or by the compounds functioning as a unitary stimulus (simple discrimination). The present study assessed whether the four pigeons from our previous study would show maintained discrimination when the positions of the components of each compound were changed relative to the training stimuli. Training components were rotated 90 degrees to the right and left (Tests 1 and 2, respectively), presented with a 1cm separation (Test 3), and presented with a 1cm separation and rotated 180 degrees (Test 4). Subject P11 maintained discriminations in all tests. Maintained discriminations were only observed in Tests 1 and 2 for P21, 1-3 for P10, and 1, 2, and 4 for P9. Results indicate that pigeons may not maintain discrimination when stimulus elements are presented further apart and/or rotated 180 degrees relative to training.

DOI of Published Version



Campos HC, Debert P, Lionello-DeNolf K, McIlvane WJ. Stimulus control in a go/no-go procedure with compound stimuli with pigeons. Behav Processes. 2015 Jun;115:30-6. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2015.02.015. Epub 2015 Feb 23. PubMed PMID: 25721532. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Behavioural processes

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