Complex Visual Concept in the Pigeon

@article{Herrnstein1964ComplexVC,
  title={Complex Visual Concept in the Pigeon},
  author={Richard J. Herrnstein and Donald H. Loveland},
  journal={Science},
  year={1964},
  volume={146},
  pages={549 - 551}
}
Pigeons were trained to respond to the presence or absence of human beings in photographs. The precision of their performances and the ease with which the training was accomplished suggest greater powers of conceptualization than are ordinarily attributed to animals. 
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This study demonstrates that pigeons are capable of forming relatively high-order concepts and a discrimination to the two classes of photographs was obtained.
Visual classes and natural categories in the pigeon.
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After being trained on an oak leaf pattern, pigeons responded to other oak leaf patterns but not to leaf patterns of other species. Thus, graphic variation among the instances of a species is
Pigeon perception of letters of the alphabet.
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  • 1982
TLDR
In a three-choice discrimination task three pigeons learned to distinguish each letter of the alphabet from all other letters, suggesting cross-task and cross-species generality in processes of letter discrimination.
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