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Responsiveness To Object-Movement in Young Chimpanzees

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This was a study of how the spontaneous approach and avoidance reactions of young chimpanzees are controlled by the nature of an object and the way in which it moves. Small stuffed toys and wood blocks were used as test objects. A total of 4 Ss was studied, but much of the work involved single Ss. 1. Within the limits of our procedures, avoidance increases and approach decreases as a direct function of amount (rate and extensity) of object-movement. 2. The amount of movement required to produce equal frequencies of approach and avoidance varies in simple fashion with object-novelty and -size. 3. The amount of movement required to reduce approach to a low level depends on whether the object moves steadily, stops at S's approach, or starts as S approaches. 4. Discrimination learning can be produced, using one amount of movement as a "positive" reinforcer and another amount as a "negative" reinforcer.

Affiliations: 1: Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center of Emory University, Orange Park, Florida, U.S.A.


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