FIGURE 6.1 The raccoon was rewarded for selecting the Plexiglas cube that contained three objects. (From Davis, H., Anim. Learn. Behav., 12, 409-413, 1984.)

Animals (e.g., Davis and Bradford, 1991; Davis, 1996) can also restrict their food intake by selecting a specific number of reinforcers from a large array (for reviews of early work on absolute numerical concepts, see Douglas and Whitty, 1941; Wesley, 1961). Davis and Bradford (1986) showed that rats can choose a specific ordinal position in a series of objects or tunnels (for a similar demonstration with monkeys, see Ruby, 1984). In that study, rats trained to run down an alley and enter the third tunnel in a row of five tunnels were successful even when the space between the tunnels varied. In sum, many animal species are adept at representing a specific numerosity or a specific ordinal position in a sequence.

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