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A Pigeon Solves the Classic Box-and-Banana Problem

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Uploaded on Dec 24, 2007

Real laboratory footage showing a pigeon solving Wolfgang Kohler's famous box-and-banana problem, which he studied with chimpanzees in the early 1900s. Dr. Robert Epstein and his colleagues used operant conditioning techniques to get pigeons to solve this problem "spontaneously" in the 1980s. A report of their research was published in the prestigious British journal Nature in 1984 ("Insight" in the pigeon, Nature, 1984, v. 308, pp. 61-62), accessible at http://DrEpstein.com/downloads/Epstei.... Depending on their previous experience, pigeons could solve this problem in a human-like fashion in as little as a minute. This pigeon has learned to push boxes and to climb, and it has been rewarded with grain for pecking at a small toy banana. In this situation, the banana is out of reach and the box is not beneath it. At first the pigeon looks confused, then it begins pushing the box - sighting the toy banana as it pushes - and then stops pushing when the box is beneath the banana, then climbs and pecks. This and related studies were summarized in Dr. Epstein's 1996 book, Cognition, Creativity, & Behavior. For information about Dr. Epstein's research on creativity--and his scientifically-validated techniques for boosting creativity in HUMANS, visit http://CreativityInternational.com.

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