Dawn R. Remmers-Roeber, Ph.D.

TITLE: Director of University Advising and Student

COMPANY: Success University of Texas, Arlington.

Advisor: Dr. Jerome Frieman

Dissertation Title

The organization of compound elements of a local cue in the memory of pigeons

Dissertation Abstract

The purposes of the present studies were to determine which elements of local cues control pigeons' behavior and how those elements are organized in the memory of the pigeons. In Experiment 1, subjects were trained to find food in a feeder marked with a particular compound training stimulus. When subjects met the training criterion, they were tested in 3 phases in which the compound training stimulus was degraded to determine if a hierarchical organization was in use. In this experiment, subjects tended to visit feeders that had the color of the training stimulus, but when color was not present, visitation to the feeders was random. Experiment 2 was similar to Experiment 1, except for changes in the testing phases. Tests 1 and 2 were added to eliminate the possibility of other food-searching strategies. Test 3 (All Elements) was conducted in an attempt to replicate the color preference in Experiment 1. Color-Form, Color-Size, and Form-Size Tests were conducted to determine if the subjects were compounding elements of the training stimulus in memory. The results from Experiment 2 support the notion that pigeons are compounding color-size and color-form elements of a local cue in memory rather than using a hierarchical method of storage.


Ph.D., Psychology, Kansas State University, 1996