The Huron University College Journal of Learning and Motivation

Article Title

The Examination of Discrimination Learning in Horses Using a Transposition Paradigm


Previous discrimination learning research showed that other animal test subjects have successfully learned the transposition concept. When new shades, shapes or sizes of stimuli were introduced to these animals, they successfully applied their transposition concept to the new stimuli and chose the appropriate stimuli. This study examined horse’s ability to learn a relational concept, “pick the bigger” of two shapes, and then apply it to shapes and size relations it had never seen before. Four Equus Caballus were required to learn a relational concept of “pick the bigger” for either squares or circles and apply this concept during discrimination tasks based on relative size. It was found that the subjects did not learn the relational concept during training and the experiment was terminated. It was concluded that horses cannot transpose.

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