Chicks were trained to discriminate between two boxes of the same colour (white) on the basis of their positions using the pecking response. Some chicks were trained to peck at the box on their right side, some at the box on their left side. They were then retrained with two boxes of different colours (one red the other green): in one group of chicks the position of the two boxes was randomly alternated in the various trials (thus making colour a conspicuous but irrelevant cue), in the other it was maintained unchanged. A control group was retrained with two white boxes identical to those used during training. In all of the three groups chicks had to discriminate between the two boxes on the basis of their positions. During training, chicks took less trial and errors to learn when the positive box was placed on their right side and the same occurred during retraining with boxes that maintained a fixed position and during retraining in the control condition. During retraining with position alternation, on the contrary, chicks took less trials and errors to learn when the positive box was placed on their left side. Video recording of the chicks' behaviour while approaching the boxes showed that these lateral asymmetries reflect head and body turning associated to preferences in eye use, likely due to the different specializations of contralateral brain structures. It is argued that position cues engage the right hemisphere, with consequent head turning to the right to allow lateral viewing by the left eye; object-specific cues engage the left hemisphere, with consequent head turning to the left to allow lateral viewing by the right eye.

Lateral asymmetries due to preferences in eye use during visual discrimination learning in chicks

TOMMASI, Luca
1996-01-01

Abstract

Chicks were trained to discriminate between two boxes of the same colour (white) on the basis of their positions using the pecking response. Some chicks were trained to peck at the box on their right side, some at the box on their left side. They were then retrained with two boxes of different colours (one red the other green): in one group of chicks the position of the two boxes was randomly alternated in the various trials (thus making colour a conspicuous but irrelevant cue), in the other it was maintained unchanged. A control group was retrained with two white boxes identical to those used during training. In all of the three groups chicks had to discriminate between the two boxes on the basis of their positions. During training, chicks took less trial and errors to learn when the positive box was placed on their right side and the same occurred during retraining with boxes that maintained a fixed position and during retraining in the control condition. During retraining with position alternation, on the contrary, chicks took less trials and errors to learn when the positive box was placed on their left side. Video recording of the chicks' behaviour while approaching the boxes showed that these lateral asymmetries reflect head and body turning associated to preferences in eye use, likely due to the different specializations of contralateral brain structures. It is argued that position cues engage the right hemisphere, with consequent head turning to the right to allow lateral viewing by the left eye; object-specific cues engage the left hemisphere, with consequent head turning to the left to allow lateral viewing by the right eye.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/111401
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