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Associative learning in baboons and humans: Species differences in learned attention to visual features

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Document pages: 11 pages

Abstract: We examined attention shifting in baboons and humans during the learning of visual categories. Within a conditional matching-to-sample task, participants of the two species sequentially learned two two-feature categorieswhich shared a common feature. Results showed that humans encoded both features of the initially learned category, but predominantly only the distinctive feature of the subsequently learned category. Although baboons initiallyencoded both features of the first category, they ultimately retained only the distinctive features of each category. Empirical data from the two species were analyzed with the 1996 ADIT connectionist model of Kruschke. ADIT fits the baboon data when the attentional shift rate is zero, and the human data when the attentional shift rate is not zero. These empirical and modeling results suggest species differences in learned attention to visual features.

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