A reexamination of the effects of motivational state on utilization of conspecific odors in the rat

Mary N. Travis, H. Wayne Ludvigson, Paul Eslinger

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Abstract

Two previous studies suggested that rats are unable to use conspecifics' odors when the motivational state of the donor rats is different from their own (Davis et al., 1974; Davis, Prytula, Noble, & Mollenhour, 1976). The effects of motivational conditions on the utilization of such odors were further evaluated in the present study. In Phase 1, test rats were given training either with donors in the same motivational state or with donors in a different state. Differential responses to donors' odor emissions occurred only when the motivational states of donors and test subjects were the same, thus confirming earlier findings. However, when test subjects' motivational conditions were changed in Phase 2, discriminations that had been present in Phase 1 were maintained even though the motivational states of these test subjects and their respective donors no longer matched. Thus, any constraint on the rat's ability to use odors from conspecifics in a different motivational state is not absolute.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-323
Number of pages6
JournalAnimal Learning & Behavior
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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