A note on select- and reject-controlling relations in the simple discrimination of capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella)

UMMS Affiliation

Shriver Center

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Document Type



Animals; Cebus; Discrimination (Psychology); Male; Photic Stimulation; Psychomotor Performance; Touch


Mental and Social Health | Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Psychiatry and Psychology


Controlling relations in the simple discrimination performances of capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) were studied in two experiments using a blank-comparison procedure. The main goal was to determine whether monkeys would (a) select an S+ stimulus if another stimulus was substituted for the S- (indicating a select-controlling relation) and (b) reject an S- if another stimulus was substituted for S+ (indicating a reject-controlling relation). In experiment 1, two simple simultaneous discriminations were established, one of which was reversed repeatedly until rapid reversal learning was exhibited. During subsequent probe tests, some behavior was consistent with select- and reject-controlling relations, but there was also substantial variability. To control the variability, the procedures of experiment 2 were designed to establish select- and reject-control relations directly by training with the blank-comparison procedure. On subsequent probe trials, new stimuli were substituted for the blank comparison. Both animals exhibited consistent, reliable select- and reject-controlling relations. These experiments are the first to employ the blank-comparison procedure with non-human subjects. They also demonstrate a reliable method for generating select- and reject-controlling relations for experimental study.

DOI of Published Version



Goulart, P. R., Mendonça, M. B., Barros, R. S., Galvão, O. F., & McIlvane, W. J. (2005). A note on select- and reject-controlling relations in the simple discrimination of capuchin monkeys (cebus apella). Behavioral Processes, 69(3), 295-302. DOI 10.1016/j.beproc.2004.12.005

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Behavioural processes

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Link to article in PubMed

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