Time-place learning: can rats time both periods of food availability and non-availability?

Chaulk, Pamela (2019) Time-place learning: can rats time both periods of food availability and non-availability? Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

Download (533kB)


Animals learn and use information about the times and locations of food availability. The goal of the current study was to determine how rats time spatially and temporally predictable periods during which no food is available. The first experiment consisted of a daily time-place learning (TPL) task, with sessions conducted on a plus maze at three times each day. The rats learned to avoid the lever that did not provide reinforcement and had longer latencies to first lever press at non-reinforced times of day. Skip session probes showed that the rats tended to use a circadian timing strategy to solve the task. The second experiment consisted of an interval TPL task conducted in an operant box with four levers. Depending on group assignment, the rats experienced breaks between lever activation of either 0 s, 30 s, or 60 s. All rats learned the task, showing both anticipation and anticipation of depletion of a lever’s active period. Despite having learned the task, there was no evidence that the rats timed the break periods. Probe tests revealed that the rats used an interval timing strategy to solve the task. Breaks in reinforcement did not prevent the rats in either experiment from learning the respective TPL tasks.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/13950
Item ID: 13950
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 32-36).
Keywords: time-place learning, daily TPL, interval TPL, timing strategies, circadian
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: October 2019
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Time perception in animals; Rats--Psychological aspects; Rats--Food

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics