Effect of small cue-response separation on pattern discrimination in macaques (Macaca fuscata and M. mulatta).
In order to elucidate the nature of the effect of small cue-response separations on pattern discriminations by monkeys, three studies were performed. When training on a pattern discrimination with a cue-response separation was discontinued during performance at the chance level, there was no saving on the rate of learning a second task (with identical cues but a different cue-response separation) relative to the performance of naive control animals. By contrast, when training was discontinued at a performance level a little better than chance, there was significant saving on learning a second task. After learning the second task, a third task with new pattern cues was learned, with marked saving on the duration of performance at the chance level. The results indicate that during the initial stage of performance at the chance level, monkeys do not attend to cues if there is even a small separation between the cue and the response site.
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