Averaging of temporal memories by rats.

Rats were trained on a mixed fixed-interval schedule in which stimulus A (tone or light) indicated food availability after 10 s and stimulus B (the other stimulus) indicated food availability after 20 s. Testing consisted of nonreinforced probe trials in which the stimulus was A, B, or the compound AB. On single-stimulus trials, rats responded with a peak of activity around the programmed reinforced time. On compound-stimulus trials, rats showed a single scalar peak of responding at a time midway between those for stimulus A and B. These results suggest that when provided with discrepant information regarding the temporal predictability of reinforcement, rats compute an average of the scheduled reinforcement times for the A and B stimuli and use this average to generate an expectation of reward for the compound stimuli.

Main Author: Swanton, Dale.
Other Authors: Gooch, Cynthia., Matell, Matthew.
Language: English
Published: 2009
Online Access: http://ezproxy.villanova.edu/login?url=https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:178172