Papers in the Biological Sciences
Visual Search for Natural Grains in Pigeons (Columba livia) : Search Images and Selective Attention
Date of this Version
The experiments reported here were designed to test the suggestion of many researchers that selective attention to visual features of a prey can account for search-image effects. In 3 experiments pigeons ate wheat and vetch grains presented on multicolored and gray gravel trays. In Experiment 1 search-image effects were evident when grains were cryptic but not when they were conspicuous. Experiment 2 demonstrated that search images can be activated when the grains encountered are either cryptic or conspicuous but that search images affect search performance only when the grains are cryptic. Experiment 3 demonstrated that search images are short-term in nature: A 3-min delay between successive encounters with a type of grain disrupted an activated search image. The discussion addresses how these results further develop a model in which search images are viewed as selective attention to visual features of a prey.
Published in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes 22:2 (1996) , pp. 139-151; doi: 10.1037/0097-7403.22.2.139 Copyright © 1996 American Psychological Association. Used by permission. “This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.” http://www.apa.org/journals/xan/