SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

We studied response biases to visual stimulation using a new experimental technique. The subjects (hens, Gallus gallus domesticus) were confronted with several rewarding and non-rewarding patterns on a computer screen. In contrast with standard discrimination tasks the rewarding patterns were not identical and varied in a dimension differentiating them from the non-rewarding patterns. The rewarding patterns changed in response to hens' biases in selection of patterns. The aim of the study was to examine the possibility of receivers being a driving force in signal evolution. In one of the experiments a clear-cut result was obtained. During the course of the experiment the rewarding patterns became gradually more different from the non-rewarding one, a result expected from theoretical studies of the effect of response bias in signal evolution. A second similar experiment was less conclusive, with ceiling and floor effects influencing the results.