This study determined if test rats could utilize biological odors, generated from donor rats receiving reward (R) and frustrative nonreward (N) treatments, to predict reward and nonreward goal events equally well. In Phase 1, two groups of test rats were exposed to R and N odors that signaled, respectively, either R and N goal events ("same" condition) or N and R goal events ("opposite" condition). Rats demonstrated significant discriminative use of these odors under both conditions. Subjects in the "opposite" condition, however, were slightly slower to learn the discrimination. Reversal learning was readily accomplished in Phase 2, regardless of the same-opposite factor. Thus, little evidence for a constraint on learning was found, and an interpretation in terms of interfering response tendencies and their habituation seemed favored.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Behavioral Neuroscience