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An investigation of sex differences in spatial cognition predicted by the hunter-gatherer hypothesis using a human analog of the pole-box task

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Description: The present study was focused on the extent to which males and females demonstrate spatial abilities corresponding to our evolutionary history as hunter-gatherers (Silverman & Eals, 1992). A version of the human analog pole-box task developed by Upton (2004) and based on the spatial pattern-learning task for rats introduced by Brown and Terrinoni (1996) was utilized. The task required participants to locate a consistent spatial arrangement of correct button locations over the course of 60 trials that was either consistently located across trials (Location condition) or randomly located across trials (Pattern condition). The hunter-gatherer hypothesis predicts that females should outperform males in the Location condition and males should outperform females in the Pattern condition. Results showed that males and females performed similarly irrespective of condition. Possible reasons for the failure of the present study to support the hunter-gatherer hypothesis are examined. Considerations for future research are explored.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work