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There is considerable interest in the conditions under which human subjects learn patterned information without explicit instructions to learn that information. This form of learning, termed implicit or incidental learning, can be approximated in nonhumans by exposing subjects to patterned information but delivering reinforcement randomly, thereby not requiring the subjects to learn the information in order to be reinforced. Following acquisition, nonhuman subjects are queried as to what they have learned about the patterned information. In the present experiment, we extended the study of implicit learning in nonhumans by comparing two species, cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) and pigeons (Columba livia), on an implicit learning task that used an artificial grammar to generate the patterned elements for training. We equated the conditions of training and testing as much as possible between the two species. The results indicated that both species demonstrated approximately the same magnitude of implicit learning, judged both by a random test and by choice tests between pairs of training elements. This finding suggests that the ability to extract patterned information from situations in which such learning is not demanded is of longstanding origin.
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- Implicit learning in cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) and pigeons (Columba livia)
- Springer US
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