Our paper on red-footed tortoise reversal learning is now in press! This study represents the efforts of Justin Bridgeman during his honours thesis examining behaviour flexibility and cognition in tortoises. Here is a link to the paper:
Bridgeman, JM and Tattersall, GJ. 2019. Tortoises develop and overcome position biases in a reversal learning task. Animal Cognition. (): 1-11. 10.1007/s10071-019-01243-8
Many thanks to Dr. Miriam Richards, TAs, Tom Eles, and all the students from our animal behaviour course (2013 – 2015) who helped with all the pre-training and Y-maze familiarisation trials that pre-dated Justin’s honours research. And many thanks to all the tortoises who participated.
Tortoise approaching the stimulus (mock experiment with cell phone video)
Tortoise receiving a reward for approaching the correct stimulus.
Here are some sample videos from the supplementary material:
Tortoise in the Y-maze examines both stimuli and slowly approaches the rewarded stimulus on the left.
Tortoise late in the training approaches the rewarded stimulus without pause.
Tortoise moves according to its developed position bias, almost makes an error but corrects itself, and approaches the positive stimulus receiving the reward.