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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Rats Distinguish Between Absence of Events and Lack of Information in Sensory Preconditioning


In two experiments, rats received sensory preconditioning treatment in which an auditory conditioned stimulus (CS) X was followed by visual CS A in Phase 1, and CS A was followed by an appetitive US (sucrose) in Phase 2. Rats also received presentations of auditory CS Y unpaired with other events. At test, rats looked for sucrose more following CS X than following CS Y on non-reinforced probe test trials only if the light bulb on which CS A had been presented during training was removed from the chamber at the time of testing. With the light bulb present (but unlit), rats showed nodifference in amount of nose poking between CS X and CS Y. These results suggest that rats distinguish between the explicit absence of events and lack of information

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