Fat-tailed dunnarts (Sminthopsis crassicaudata) were trained on visual discrimination learning-set, reversal-set and spatial delayed-alternation tasks. The learning set involved 36 2-way black-and-white pattern discriminations and 5 probe reversals. Ten reversals of a black-and-white pattern discrimination were followed by 5 novel tasks. Spatial alternation was tested at delays up to 20 s. Learning-set and reversal-set formation, including 1-trial learning and spontaneous transfer from learning set to reversals and vice versa, was found. Learning-set-experienced dunnarts showed no retention of previously learned tasks 1 week after testing but demonstrated consistently high Trial 2 performance, indicating the retention of a response strategy. Delayed-alternation tasks were learned up to 10-s delays. These results provide the first evidence of a visually guided "win-stay, lose-shift" strategy in a marsupial.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Psychology (miscellaneous)