In the present study, species-specific female cues were used to investigate learning about sign stimuli in a sexual Pavlovian conditioning paradigm.
Sign stimuli are innately recognized stimuli that elicit a specific behavioral response.
In some avian species, the visual sign stimuli of a female bird are sufficient to elicit sexual behavior from a male bird.
In the present experiment, we tested the effectiveness of female conspecific sign stimuli on the acquisition of sexual learning using taxidermic models and the Pavlovian conditioning procedure.
Results from the present study indicate that sign stimuli can motivate sexual learning.
It was found that the species-specific sign stimuli of the female can be reinforcing in a sexual Pavlovian paradigm and that a taxidermic model can serve as an effective US.