Effects of Species-Specific Cues and the CS-US Interval on the Topography of the Sexually Conditioned Response

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29 Scopus citations


Given that the sexual behavior system is most relevant to the ultimate fitness of an organism, understanding determinants that govern the nature of sexually conditioned responses is imperative. In the present experiment, models that either contained or did not contain female species-specific head and neck cues served as CSs. The models were presented for either a 1-min or a 20-min CS-US interval using a delayed conditioning procedure. The US was always copulation with a female quail. Our results indicated that conditioned consummatory responses were acquired in the presence of species-specific female cues when the CS-US interval was short or during the first minute of the long CS-US interval. Thus, the presence of female cues may serve to predispose or prime male quail to learn to respond to cues that predict sexual opportunity. The findings are discussed in the context of constraints on sexual learning and the behavior systems approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-235
Number of pages25
JournalLearning and Motivation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by National Science Foundation Grant IBN-9511656 to the author. I gratefully acknowledge Charles T. Collier, Kara Workman, Mack Bautista, and Jenny Moses for their help in collecting data.


  • Japanese quail
  • behavior systems
  • constraints
  • sexual conditioning
  • species-specific cues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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