Effects of pre-exposure to the same or different pattern of extra-maze cues on subsequent extra-maze discrimination

Q J Exp Psychol B. 1994 Feb;47(1):15-26.


In two experiments, rats learned a spatial discrimination between maze arms defined by their relationship to a variety of extra-maze cues. Prior exposure to the actual arms between which animals were required to discriminate tended to retard subsequent learning (by comparison with a control group either given no pre-exposure to the extra-maze cues or exposed only to arms pointing in the opposite direction), whereas prior exposure to arms intermediate between those used in discrimination training tended to facilitate subsequent learning. These results are consistent with the suggestion that pre-exposure will facilitate discrimination learning when it reduces the associability of features or elements common to the stimuli between which animals are required to discriminate, more than it reduces the associability of the features or elements unique to each.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Association Learning
  • Attention*
  • Conditioning, Classical
  • Cues*
  • Discrimination Learning*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mental Recall
  • Orientation*
  • Rats
  • Social Environment*
  • Space Perception*