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ERIC Number: EJ783402
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 23
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0023-9690
Rats' Anticipation of Current and Future Trial Outcomes in the Ordered RNR/RNN Serial Pattern Task
Cohen, Jerome; Mohamoud, Sirad; Szelest, Izabela; Kani, Tammy
Learning and Motivation, v39 n1 p24-46 Feb 2008
In the ordered RNR/RNN serial pattern task, rats often reduce their running speeds on trial 2 less within the RNR than within the RNN series. Initially, investigators (Capaldi, 1985; Capaldi et al., 1983) considered this trial 2 differential speed effect evidence for rats' anticipation of inter-trial outcomes within each series. Later findings, however, suggest that this effect reflects some generalization of the ordinal position of trial 3 (Burns et al., 1986) or its similar runway cues during trial 2 (Capaldi et al., 1999). To test these generalization hypotheses, we made trial 2 more distinct from trial 3 in each series by forcing rats to alternate runways in a T-maze only on the last trial rather than on trial 2 in each series in Experiment 1, or by forcing rats to alternate runways between trials rather than to run down the same runway on all trials within each series in Experiment 2. Although enhancing the distinctiveness between these trials reduced the trial 2 differential speed effect, extensive training failed to eliminate it. Therefore, this residual difference between trial 2 speeds could reflect rats' anticipation of trial 3 outcomes during trial 2 as originally proposed by Capaldi (1985). Experiment 3 was designed to determine whether we could enhance rats' final trial outcome expectancies during trial 2 by making different trial 2 choices distinctive cues for each trial 3 outcome. The trial 2 speed effect was greater when rats were forced to alternate over all trials only within one of the series than when they were sometimes forced to do so in either series. Post-training probe tests revealed that both series position and the relevant within-series runway events contributed to this enhanced anticipation of trial 3 outcomes.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A