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Estudos de Psicologia (Natal)

On-line version ISSN 1678-4669


GALVAO, Olavo de Faria et al. Experimental school for primates. Estud. psicol. (Natal) [online]. 2002, vol.7, n.2, pp.361-370. ISSN 1678-4669.

Equating, metaphorically, the terms "lab" and "school", this article presents an experimental research program aiming to develop procedures to build symbolic repertories in capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). The metaphor "lab-school" arises from the similarity of the training procedures, used to teach discriminations or stimulus relations, to teaching programs used to introduce gradually more complex tasks. The challenge has been to keep the behavior of the "learners" under the control of the task properties, as programmed by the experimenter. Results document the acquisition of generalized identity and indicate the possibility of teaching more complex repertoires that are prerequisite for symbolic behavior and the possible application of the developed technology in teaching such repertoires to persons with difficulties to develop conventional symbolic functioning.

Keywords : Primates school; Symbolic behavior; Stimulus equivalence; Stimulus control; C. apella.

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