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Search behavior in cats and do


            
            
             In 1996 an experiment was done by Francois Y. Dore, Sylvain Fiset, Sonia Goulet, Marie-Chantale Dumas, and Sylvain Gagnon at the Universite Laval, Quebec, Quebec, Canada. The research was done in regards to the search behavior, spatial cognition, and working memory in cats and dogs. There were four actual test groups. Two groups of cats, and two groups of dogs that were tested to see if they could find an object that was visibly moved from one screen to another.
             Of each of the two groups, one of the two groups of cats was tested with dissimilar screens to see if they used indirect cues to find the hidden object, while the other was tested with similar screens. The same procedure took place with the dogs. From what I gathered the object of the experiment essentially was testing the theory of Piagetian Object Permanence in the cats and dogs.
             Of the cats, group one was tested with all the screens being similar in the different types of transposition problems. First, shaping had to be done to train the cats to respond appropriately to the cube that was eventually to be hidden behind the screens. Secondly visible displacement training had to take place. The cat was held in a holding box where it stayed until the cube was visibly hidden behind a particular screen. Upon being hidden, the cat was then released to approach the screen where the block was hidden. If the cat was correct in its choice, it was rewarded with a piece of food. After these two processes were successfully completed without error the actual testing took place.
             In the actual testing there were two control trials, and four experimental trials. The four experimental trials were as follows: SI, single transposition; DO, double transposition; SB, substitution transposition; and SW, swtich transposition. These same groups were also used with the two groups of dogs. The two remaining groups were tested in the same manner only the screens had different patterns on them.


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