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The role of local, distal, and global information in latent spatial learning

Gilroy, Kerry E. and Pearce, John M. 2014. The role of local, distal, and global information in latent spatial learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition 40 (2) , pp. 212-224. 10.1037/xan0000017

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In 4 experiments that investigated latent spatial learning, rats were repeatedly placed on a submerged platform in a corner of a square swimming pool with walls of different brightness. When they were subsequently released into the pool for a test trial in the absence of the platform, they spent the majority of time in the corner used for placement training—the correct corner. This effect was observed in Experiment 1, even when the test trial took place in a transformed version of the training arena. Experiments 2 and 3 indicated that the correct corner was identified by local cues based on the walls creating the corner. Experiment 4 demonstrated that distal cues created by the two walls that did not surround the platform during placement training could also be used to identify the correct corner. There was no evidence of learning about the relationship between global cues provided by the entire arena and the goal. The absence of the opportunity to develop instrumental, stimulus–response associations during placement training indicates that stimulus–stimulus associations acquired during this training were sufficient to guide rats to the platform when they were eventually released into the pool.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: latent learning, spatial learning, cognitive map
Additional Information: This article has been published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Publisher: American Psychological Association
ISSN: 2329-8456
Funders: BBSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 12 December 2013
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2020 09:30

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