Date of Award

7-11-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Cohen, Jerome

Keywords

long evans, pattern learning, rats, serial reaction time task

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Rats have been shown to be capable of learning and using rules to accomplish serial pattern tasks. The aim of this project was to broaden our understanding of serial pattern learning in rats and to determine whether a basic serial reaction time task (SRTT) is sufficient for investigations of this nature. The three main objectives of this thesis were to determine (1) whether rats can recognize patterns; (2) how switching between different patterns within sessions affects performance; and (3) performance differences between subjects who are given fixed inter-signal intervals (ISIs) and those given varied ISIs on rule-governed sequences. The results indicate that rats can learn basic response patterns, but become poor at switching from one pattern to another over time. ISI consistency did not affect performance, but amount of pattern learning experience did.

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