First- and second-order configural sensitivity for greeble stimuli in baboons


  • Parron Carole
  • Fagot Joël

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Previous studies on nonhuman primates have shown inconsistencies in their processing of first- and second-order relational properties of facial stimuli Using greeble stimuli sharing configural properties with faces, this study assessed configural processing in baboons Five baboons were trained to recognize a positive stimulus among pairs of greebles in a two-alternative forced choice task They were then tested with new stimulus pairs involving either a first-order version, with modifications in global qualitative spatial relations, or a second-order version, with modifications of finer spatial relations Performance remained above chance in all test conditions, including when only second-order cues were available, but it was higher for first-order trials It is proposed that an extensive training with greebles led to the processing of second-order relational properties These results demonstrate that configural sensitivity is not restricted to faces m baboons and suggest that a common mechanism may support configural processing for face and nonface stimuli

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