In three experiments, transfer effects in appetitive serial feature-positive discrimination procedures (X→A+, A-) were examined with rat subjects. Nonreinforced presentations of the feature (X) alone had little or no effect on that cue's ability to modulate responding to the target cue with which it had originally been trained (A) but enhanced its ability to modulate responding to another cue (B), which had been the target within another serial feature-positive discrimination (Y→B+, B-). These effects were observed when the nonreinforced X presentations occurred either concurrently with X→A+, A- training or afterward. Regardless of whether or not nonreinforced X presentations were administered, X did not modulate responding evoked by a cue that had not been trained within a serial feature-positive discrimination. These data help resolve conflicts in published reports of transfer or its absence in this conditioning situation, and shed light on the nature of the modulatory or occasion-setting powers of feature cues in serial feature-positive discrimination learning.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Behavioral Neuroscience
- Animal Science and Zoology