Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Angelo Santi

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The aim of this research was to examine the effects of illumination and intertrial interval duration on pigeon short-term memory, using a successive matching-to-sample procedure. In phrase one the retention interval was manipulated individually for each bird. During the second phase, a correction procedure was implemented in order to reduce the number of responses made to non-match comparison stimuli. In the third phase, the birds were returned to a common baseline, in order to observe what effect elimination of the correction procedure had on the bird’s performance. In the final phase of the research, after achieving stable performance in the baseline condition, the effects of different durations of illuminated and darkened intertrial intervals on pigeon short-term memory were assessed. The results revealed that performance was significantly disrupted at the longer ITI durations spent in the light. This was a result of increased response rates to the non-match comparison stimuli during the longer illuminated ITI durations for the second replication of testing. By examination of other findings in the present research, it was suggested that a more careful analysis of other factors, such as autopecking may be necessary in order to determine whether proactive inhibition effects can be evidence in the successive DMTS procedure.

Convocation Year