Transfer of directed-forgetting cues across discrimination tasks with pigeons

Karen L. Roper, Deviney M. Chaponis, Aaron P. Blaisdell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Directed forgetting is shown as impaired performance on a memory test following an instruction that the presented items will not be tested. Experiments utilizing the delayed matching-to-sample (DMTS) task have demonstrated that this ability to actively control memory is present in animals; however, no study has yet confirmed that cues to forget established in one DMTS discrimination will successfully transfer to other discriminations. Lacking such evidence, it is not clear whether forgetting cues act as "higher level" task instructions or are represented more simply, perhaps as part of a sample-specific sequence of events. The present study revealed good transfer of the forget cue function in pigeons after prior training with the forget cues in a separate discrimination. This finding is discussed in relation to analogous experiments on occasion setting, in which training within more than one discriminative context has been shown to be critical to the transfer of a conditional relation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1005-1010
Number of pages6
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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