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The Effects of Food Deprivation on Memory Performance

Previous research has noted that pigeon weights fluctuate over a calendar year with birds being heavier during the winter than the summer months. Given that food deprivation can be a motivator of behaviour, it is possible that the fluctuations in animals’ weights might impact performance in operant research, for example accuracy in a DMTS memory task. The effects of two different amounts of food deprivation on roosters performance in a delayed matching-to-sample (DMTS) procedure was measured. There were two conditions 75% and 95% ad libitum free feeding body weight. I attempted to assess whether a lower body weight produces more correct responses in a DMTS procedure. The results indicated that the roosters performed better when less food deprived. The last 10 sessions and the last 400 trials of both conditions was used to describe the memory performance and accuracy. There was a significant difference in the slope of the forgetting function when comparing the two conditions for the last 10 sessions, with no significant differences in the intercept. For the last 400 trials there was no significant difference for the slope or intercept when comparing the two conditions. A ceiling effect was seen to occur with some of the birds. The results from some of the roosters suggest that improved performance might occur due to exposure to the task. More accurate remembering occurred when the roosters changed from one condition to the other condition, suggesting that repeated exposure to the task increased memory performance and accuracy.
Type of thesis
Kerewaro, J. L. (2017). The Effects of Food Deprivation on Memory Performance (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11461
The University of Waikato
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