Michael J. Beran, Ph.D.
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September 1, 2021



Beran, M. J., Klein, E. D., Evans, T. A., Chan, B., Flemming, T. M., Harris, E. H., Washburn, D. A., & Rumbaugh, D. M. (2008). Discrimination reversal learning in capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella).  Psychological Record, 58, 3-14.

We assessed learning styles in capuchin monkeys using a computerized reversal-learning task called the mediational paradigm. First, the monkeys were trained to respond with 90% accuracy on a two-choice discrimination (A+B-). We then examined differences in performance on three different types of reversal trials (A-B+, A-C+, B+C-), each of which offered differing predictions for performance depending on whether the monkeys were using associative cues or rule-based strategies. Performance indicated that the monkeys mainly learned to avoid the B stimulus during training as the A-C+ condition produced the best performance levels. This indicated that the negative stimuli showed greater control over responding after reversal and reflected a more associative rather than rule based form of learning.

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