ERIC Number: EJ778924
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Memory for Sequences of Tone Bursts in the Rat: Reliance on Temporal Cues and Evidence for an Instructional Ambiguity Explanation of the Choose-Few Effect
Santi, Angelo; Van Rooyen, Patrick
Learning and Motivation, v38 n4 p295-313 Nov 2007
Two groups of rats were trained in a symbolic delayed matching-to-sample task with a 0-s delay to discriminate sample stimuli that consisted of sequences of tone bursts. For one group, sequences varied in number with total sequence duration controlled. For the other group, total sequence duration, sum of the tone durations, and sum of the gap durations were all controlled. The former group of rats acquired the discrimination, but the latter group of rats were not able to learn the discrimination with the additional temporal cues controlled. Retention functions for the group that acquired the discrimination exhibited a choose-many bias at the 1-s delay and a choose-few bias at the 8-s delay regardless of the similarity in the intertrial interval and delay interval illumination condition. The asymmetrical retention functions appeared to be due to instructional ambiguity which resulted from the similarity of the delay interval to temporal features of the tone burst sequence, such as the gap between tone bursts and the total duration of tone. In Experiment 2, diagnostic tests provided evidence that rats discriminated the sequences of tone bursts by timing and summing the duration of individual tone bursts rather than using an event switch to count tones. Like pigeons, rats use multiple temporal features rather than number to discriminate sequences of successive events.
Descriptors: Cues, Intervals, Figurative Language, Diagnostic Tests, Infants, Memory, Animals, Experiments, Discrimination Learning, Stimuli
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Ottawa (Ontario).
Authoring Institution: N/A