SPONTANEOUS QUANTITY DISCRIMINATION IN THE DOMESTIC CAT (Felis silvestris catus) Carloni E.1, Normando S.2, Regolin L.3, Accorsi P.A.1 1Dipartimento di Morfofisiologia Veterinaria e Produzioni Animali - Università di Bologna, E-mail elena.carloni@libero.it 2Dipartimento di Scienze Sperimentali Veterinarie - Università di Padova, 3Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale - Università di Padova This pilot study investigated domestic cat’s spontaneous ability to discriminate food quantity based on acoustic rather than visual cues, and on representational memory. The discrimination threshold was set at 4 versus 2 pieces of dry food pellets. Cats were rewarded whatever choice they made, but they could not access food used as stimulus. Food pellets were not patently showed to subjects during stimulus phase, but cats could hear single pellets falling into two steel cans, thus they received clear acoustic cues. Visual hints consisted merely in the hands of the researcher held above cans. Olfactory cues were neutralised by compensatory food odour diffusers. Since cats could not see food pellets, acoustic short-term representational memory was involved in the choice process. Approach, orientation towards and investigation of one of the two cans were interpreted as choice for its content. Twelve cats were tested in absence of previous training in their home environment. Each subject received 12 trials. Relative position and order of presentation of large and small food amounts were counterbalanced. The results provide evidence of quantity discrimination since choice for the larger amount of food clearly prevailed.

Spontaneous quantity discrimination in the domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus)

ACCORSI, PIER ATTILIO
2010

Abstract

SPONTANEOUS QUANTITY DISCRIMINATION IN THE DOMESTIC CAT (Felis silvestris catus) Carloni E.1, Normando S.2, Regolin L.3, Accorsi P.A.1 1Dipartimento di Morfofisiologia Veterinaria e Produzioni Animali - Università di Bologna, E-mail elena.carloni@libero.it 2Dipartimento di Scienze Sperimentali Veterinarie - Università di Padova, 3Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale - Università di Padova This pilot study investigated domestic cat’s spontaneous ability to discriminate food quantity based on acoustic rather than visual cues, and on representational memory. The discrimination threshold was set at 4 versus 2 pieces of dry food pellets. Cats were rewarded whatever choice they made, but they could not access food used as stimulus. Food pellets were not patently showed to subjects during stimulus phase, but cats could hear single pellets falling into two steel cans, thus they received clear acoustic cues. Visual hints consisted merely in the hands of the researcher held above cans. Olfactory cues were neutralised by compensatory food odour diffusers. Since cats could not see food pellets, acoustic short-term representational memory was involved in the choice process. Approach, orientation towards and investigation of one of the two cans were interpreted as choice for its content. Twelve cats were tested in absence of previous training in their home environment. Each subject received 12 trials. Relative position and order of presentation of large and small food amounts were counterbalanced. The results provide evidence of quantity discrimination since choice for the larger amount of food clearly prevailed.
Proc. V European Conference on Behavioural Biology (ECBB).
109
109
Carloni E.; Normando S.; Regolin L.; Accorsi P.A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/98886
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