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Brightness contrast: a reinterpretation of compound cue and combined cue experiments with pigeons

, : Brightness contrast: a reinterpretation of compound cue and combined cue experiments with pigeons. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 33(1): 87-99

A group of three pigeons was trained on a 4-ply multiple schedule: a green color and a vertical line superimposed upon an achromatic background as positive stimuli, and a red color and a horizontal line on an achromatic background as negative stimuli. The pigeons were tested with the vertical line superimposed upon different achromatic background intensities, then with the vertical line superimposed upon different green background intensities, and finally with the vertical line and its training achromatic backgfound attenuated (and unattenuated) by a neutral density filter. The gradients peaked at the luminance of the achromatic background used during training and at the equivalent luminance for the green background when it was substituted for the achromatic background. The brightness contrast, not the background luminance, was the critical variable as the neutral density filter attenuated both the line and the background equally, leaving brightness contrast unchanged; there was no response decrement to this attenuated stimulus. Two other groups of three pigeons showed that they attended to line orientation as well as to brightness contrast. The brightness contrast hypothesis was extended to explain results of attention experiments and combined cue experiments which have used line stimuli in combinations with different backgrounds.


PMID: 7365405

DOI: 10.1901/jeab.1980.33-87

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