Species-specific female cues control conditioned sexual approach of male Japanese quail (Coturnix Japonica)

Neil Levens, Chana K. Akins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Adult male Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) use visual species-specific cues to discriminate the sex of conspecifics. For example, male Japanese quail demonstrate social proximity to female, but not male quail, if they are allowed to copulate with female quail and receive noncopulatory exposures to males. In the present study, species-specific female cues were used to investigate learning about sign stimuli in a sexual Pavlovian conditioning paradigm. Copulation with a female taxidermic model (US) was paired with a previously neutral block of wood (CS). After several trials, paired subjects came to approach the block of wood. The findings indicate that a female taxidermic model containing species-specific sign stimuli can serve as an effective US. In addition, female sign stimuli may play an important role in the acquisition of sexually conditioned responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-588
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological Record
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (all)


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