Following spatial disorientation, animals can reorient themselves by relying on geometric cues (metric and sense) specified both by the macroscopic surface layout of an enclosed space and prominent visual landmarks in arrays. Whether spatial reorientation in arrays of landmarks is based on explicit representation of the geometric cues is a matter of debate. Here we trained homing pigeons (Columba livia) to locate a food-reward in a rectangular array of four identical or differently coloured pipes provided with four openings, only one of which allowed the birds to have access to the reward. Pigeons were trained either with a stable or a variable position of the opening on pipes, so that they could view the array either from the same or a variable perspective. Explicit mapping of configural geometry would predict successful reorientation irrespective of access condition. In contrast, we found that a stable view of the array facilitated spatial learning in homing pigeons, likely through the formation of snapshot-like memories.

Stable panoramic views facilitate snap-shot like memories for spatial reorientation in homing pigeons.

Pecchia, Tommaso;Vallortigara, Giorgio
2011-01-01

Abstract

Following spatial disorientation, animals can reorient themselves by relying on geometric cues (metric and sense) specified both by the macroscopic surface layout of an enclosed space and prominent visual landmarks in arrays. Whether spatial reorientation in arrays of landmarks is based on explicit representation of the geometric cues is a matter of debate. Here we trained homing pigeons (Columba livia) to locate a food-reward in a rectangular array of four identical or differently coloured pipes provided with four openings, only one of which allowed the birds to have access to the reward. Pigeons were trained either with a stable or a variable position of the opening on pipes, so that they could view the array either from the same or a variable perspective. Explicit mapping of configural geometry would predict successful reorientation irrespective of access condition. In contrast, we found that a stable view of the array facilitated spatial learning in homing pigeons, likely through the formation of snapshot-like memories.
2011
Pecchia, Tommaso; A., Gagliardo; Vallortigara, Giorgio
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/89298
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