Cross-modal transfer of stimulus control in the albino rat: A stimulus delay procedure

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Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The present experiment demonstrated in a simultaneous discrete trial discrimination that the stimulus control of a rat’s leverpress response can be errorlessly transferred across stimulus modalities, i.e., from light to click location and from click to light location. Subsequent to acquisition of the original discrimination, the original and new discriminative stimuli were simultaneously presented for several sessions. Then the new discriminative stimulus was presented 3 sec prior to the onset of the original discriminative stimulus. Within the direction of transfer, e.g., from light to click location, the delay group emitted fewer trial and intertrial errors than the control group. As the new discriminative stimuli acquired control over responding, the response latency distributions were differentially affected. The results suggest that the transfer of control from the original to the new discriminative stimuli is mediated by the temporal aspects of the delay interval.

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