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Volume 8 Issue 5 (September 2005), Pages 387-458

Reorientation by geometric and landmark information in environments of different size (pages 393-401)

Abstract

It has been found that disoriented children could use geometric information in combination with landmark information to reorient themselves in large but not in small experimental spaces. We tested domestic chicks in the same task and found that they were able to conjoin geometric and nongeometric (landmark) information to reorient themselves in both the large and the small space used. Moreover, chicks reoriented immediately when displaced from a large to a small experimental space and vice versa, suggesting that they used the relative metrics of the environment. However, when tested with a transformation (affine transformation) that alters the geometric relations between the target and the shape of the environment, chicks tended to make more errors based on geometric information when tested in the small than in the large space. These findings suggest that the reliance of the use of geometric information on the spatial scale of the environment is not restricted to the human species.

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