chapter  5
24 Pages

Animals' Perception and Memory For Places

WithDonald M. Wilkie, Robert J. Willson, Suzanne E. MacDonald

This chapter examines elementistic and holistic approaches to the study of stimuli. It considers the feasibility of studying the natural perceptual units alluded to by Riley with color slide and video discrimination procedures. The chapter summarizes data collected in our and other laboratories on pigeons' perception and memory for natural geographic locations. Ethologists in their studies of the ways in which stimuli control behavior frequently used complex naturalistic stimuli. The chapter discusses empirical evidence pertaining to this issue. It reviews of the evidence suggests that animals such as pigeons likely do see photographs as corresponding to the natural stimuli. A demonstration that homing pigeons can discriminate between pictures of their actual geographic home and other similar geographic areas would provide additional, albeit indirect, evidence that homing pigeons may use visual recognition of landmarks and topography, at least when they are close to home.