The bisection of a brightness interval by pigeons.

Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior

PubMedID: 16811345

Boakes RA. The bisection of a brightness interval by pigeons. J Exp Anal Behav. 1969;12(2):201-9.
Pigeons were trained on a discrete trials, successive discrimination procedure, in which the stimuli were two luminance values on the center key. Behavior was maintained by 25% reinforcement of correct responses on two side-keys. During occasional test trials the luminance of the center key was maintained at one of a number of values, intermediate to those of the two training stimuli, and a function relating the relative frequency of responses on the two side keys to stimulus intensity was obtained. The intersection of this function with the 50% line provided an estimate of the bisection point. Since no bisection point occurred below the geometric mean of the interval, the results were not consistent with a logarithmic scale of brightness but fitted the general mean theorem with an exponent of 0.24. With continued testing, the performance of individual subjects oscillated in an irregular manner about the mean bisection point. The relative stability of the test behavior and the absence of context effects indicated that the method was suitable as a general procedure for measuring stimulus distances.