Two experiments examined the summation and transfer of negative occasion setting in serial feature negative (X→A-/A+) and negative patterning discriminations (X→A-/X+/A+) in a discrete-trial operant task with rats. With both discrimination procedures, negative occasion setting transferred readily (but not perfectly) to cues trained as targets in another similar discrimination procedure, but not to cues that were separately trained. Furthermore, with both discrimination procedures, the negative occasion-setting powers of features from two individual discriminations summed, both when those features were trained with the same targets and when they were trained with different targets. After negative patterning discriminations, in which the feature (X) cues were separately reinforced, this summation of negative occasion setting occurred despite the concomitant summation of the features' excitatory control in the absence of an explicit target cue. These data, which replicated and extended previously reported data from Pavlovian feature negative procedures, are discussed in the context of hierarchical, generalization, and network models of discrimination learning.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Behavioral Neuroscience