Document Detail

Re-assessing causal accounts of learnt behavior in rats.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22486754     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Rats received either a common-cause (i.e., A→B, A→food) or a causal-chain training scenario (i.e., B→A, A→food) before their tendency to approach the food magazine during the presentation of B was assessed as a function of whether it was preceded by a potential alternative cause. Causal model theory predicts that the influence of an alternative cause should be restricted to the common-cause scenario. In Experiment 1, responding to B was reduced when it occurred after pressing a novel lever during the test phase. This effect was not influenced by the type of training scenario. In Experiment 2, rats were familiarized with the lever prior to test by training it as a potential cause of B. After this treatment, the lever now failed to influence test responding to B. In Experiment 3, rats given common-cause training responded more to B when it followed a cue that had previously been trained as a predictor of B, than when it followed another stimulus. This effect was not apparent in rats that received causal-chain training. This pattern of results is the opposite of that predicted by causal model theory. Thus, in three experiments, the presence of an alternative cause failed to influence test responding in manner consistent with causal model theory. These results undermine the application of causal model theory to rats, but are consistent with associative analyses. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
K V Burgess; D M Dwyer; R C Honey
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of experimental psychology. Animal behavior processes     Volume:  38     ISSN:  1939-2184     ISO Abbreviation:  J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process     Publication Date:  2012 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-04-10     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7504289     Medline TA:  J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  148-56     Citation Subset:  IM    
School of Psychology.
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