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07.12.2016 | Ausgabe 2/2017

Learning & Behavior 2/2017

Rats in a levered T-maze task show evidence of time–place discriminations in two different measures

Zeitschrift:
Learning & Behavior > Ausgabe 2/2017
Autoren:
Scott H. Deibel, Andrew B. Lehr, Chelsea Maloney, Matthew L. Ingram, Leanna M. Lewis, Anne-Marie P. Chaulk, Pam D. Chaulk, Darlene M. Skinner, Christina M. Thorpe

Abstract

It is difficult for rats to learn to go to an arm of a T-maze to receive food that is dependent on the time of day, unless the amount of food in each daily session is different. In the same task, rats show evidence of time–place discriminations if they are required to press levers in the arms of the T-maze, but learning is only evident when the first lever press is considered, and not the first arm visited. These data suggest that rats struggle to use time as a discriminative stimulus unless the rewards/events differ in some dimension, or unless the goal locations can be visited prior to making a response. If both of these conditions are met in the same task, it might be possible to compare time–place learning in two different measures that essentially indicate performance before and after entering the arms of the T-maze. In the present study, we investigated time–place learning in rats with a levered T-maze task in which the amounts of food varied depending on the time of day. The first arm choices and first lever presses both indicated that the rats had acquired time–place discriminations, and both of these measures became significantly different from chance during the same block. However, there were subtle differences between the two measures, which suggest that time–place discrimination is aided by visiting the goal locations.

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