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Failure of a landmark to restrict spatial learning based on the shape of the environment

Hayward, Andrew James, Good, Mark Andrew and Pearce, John Martindale 2004. Failure of a landmark to restrict spatial learning based on the shape of the environment. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. B: Comparative and Physiological Psychology 57 (4) , pp. 289-314. 10.1080/02724990344000150

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Rats were required to find a submerged platform in the corner of a swimming pool with a distinctive shape. A landmark near the platform did not interfere with the control acquired by the pool's shape over searching for the platform. This outcome was observed with an overshadowing and a blocking design. A comparison of the ease with which the landmark and the pool's shape gained control over searching for the platform indicates that the failure of overshadowing and blocking was not a consequence of the landmark being less salient than the shape of the pool. The results are not readily explained by theories of associative learning, but they are consistent with the claim that learning about the shape of the environment takes place in a dedicated module, which excludes information about the significance of individual landmarks.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISSN: 0272-4995
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2020 14:01

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