Rats received positive patterning training in which a serial light-tone compound was reinforced with food and the elements were separately nonreinforced. Conditioned responding of a form characteristic of auditory conditioned stimuli emerged to the tone within the serial compound. Separate presentations of the elements evoked little conditioned behavior. Discrimination performance was better when the light-tone interval was 20 sec than when it was 5 sec. These data suggested that the light acquired a conditional cue or occasion-setting function such that the light signaled when a tone-food relation was in effect. Comparisons with data from previous experiments involving serial feature-positive discriminations indicated that the light’s ability to serve as an occasion setter was relatively independent of its response-evoking capacity.
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