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Learning styles in capuchin monkeys were assessed with a computerized reversal- learning task called the mediationaJ paradigm. First, monkeys were trained to respond with 90% accuracy on a two-choice discrimination (A+B-). Then the authors 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. Therefore, negative stimuli showed greater control over responding after reversal and reflected a more associative rather than rule-based form of learning.


This article was originally published in the journal The Psychological Record. Copyright © 2008 The Psychological Record.

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