Food Choice, Reinforcer Preference, and Visual Discrimination in Monitor Lizards (Varanus Spp.)
Gaalema, Diann Ellen
MetadataShow full item record
Learning in reptiles has been studied with a variety of methods and included numerous species. However, research on learning in lizards has generally focused on spatial memory and has used only a few species. No research has specifically investigated and documented the use of visual discrimination in monitor lizards. The ability of monitor lizards (Varanus spp.) to discriminate between visual stimuli was investigated. Subjects were tested on acquisition and two reversals of a discrimination task between black and white stimuli. A food-choice procedure was used to determine if consistent rankings of food items could be determined using a multiple-stimulus choice procedure. The functional value of the rankings was assessed using a progressive ratio technique. The subjects formed stable food preferences, which were reflected in increased response requirement completed for preferred items and subjects did successfully learn the initial discrimination task and the following reversals.