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Cone excitation ratios correlate with color discrimination performance in the horse (Equus caballus)

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Andrew Derrington


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Six horses (Equus caballus) were trained to discriminate color from grays in a counterbalanced sequence in which lightness cues were irrelevant. Subsequently, the pretrained colors were presented in a different sequence. Two sets of novel colors paired with novel grays were also tested. Performance was just as good in these transfer tests. Once the horse had learned to select the chromatic from the achromatic stimulus, regardless of the specific color, they were immediately able to apply this rule to novel stimuli. In terms of the underlying visual mechanisms, the present study showed for the first time that the spectral sensitivity of horse cone photopigments, measured as cone excitation ratios, was correlated with color discrimination performance, measured as accuracy, repeated errors, and latency of approach. Copyright 2006 by the American Psychological Association.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hall CA, Cassaday HJ, Vincent CJ, Derrington AM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Comparative Psychology

Year: 2006

Volume: 120

Issue: 4

Pages: 438-448

ISSN (print): 0735-7036

ISSN (electronic): 1939-2087

Publisher: American Psychological Association


DOI: 10.1037/0735-7036.120.4.438

PubMed id: 17115866


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