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Title: Reinforced Behavioral Variability and Sequence Learning Across Species
Contributor(s): Doolan, Kathleen (author); Bizo, Lewis  (author); McEwan, James (author)
Publication Date: 2012
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Abstract: Previous research shows that reinforcement of variable responding will facilitate sequence learning in rats (Neuringer, Deiss & Olson, 2000) but may interfere with sequence learning in humans (Maes & van der Goot, 2006). The present study aimed to replicate and extend previous research by assessing the role of behavioral variability in the learning of difficult target sequences across 3 species: humans (n = 60), hens (n = 18) and possums (n = 6). Participants were randomly allocated to one of three experimental conditions (Control, Variable, Any). In the Control conditions sequences were only reinforced if they were the target sequence, in the Variability conditions sequences were concurrently reinforced on a Variable Interval 60-s schedule if the just entered sequence met a variability criterion, and in the Any condition sequences were concurrently reinforced on a Variable Interval 60-s schedule for any sequence entered. The results support previous findings with animals and humans; hens and possums were more likely to learn the target sequence in the Variability condition, and human participants were more likely to learn the target sequence in the Control condition. Possible explanations for differences between the performance of humans and animals on this task will be discussed.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Details: ABAI 2012: 38th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Seattle, United States of America, 25th - 29th May, 2012
Source of Publication: Association for Behavior Analysis International 38th Annual Convention Program
Publisher: Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI)
Place of Publication: online
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 170112 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance
170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
170299 Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 520401 Cognition
520199 Applied and developmental psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 280121 Expanding knowledge in psychology
280101 Expanding knowledge in the agricultural, food and veterinary sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: E3 Extract of Scholarly Conference Publication
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Appears in Collections:Conference Publication

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