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J Exp Anal Behav. 1983 Jul;40(1):47-56.

Autoshaping in the rat: The effects of localizable visual and auditory signals for food.


Two experiments investigated autoshaping in rats to localizable visual and auditory conditioned stimuli predicting response-independent food. In Experiment 1 considerable conditioned-stimulus approach behavior was generated by a localizable visual conditioned stimulus that was situated approximately 35 cm from the food tray. Using the same apparatus in Experiment 2 we found that the conditioned-stimulus approach was generated only to a visual conditioned stimulus and not to a localizable auditory conditioned stimulus even though subjects (1) could discriminate presentations of the auditory conditioned stimulus, (2) had associated it with food, (3) could localize it, and (4) would approach the auditory stimulus if this behavior constituted an instrumental response to food. The predominant conditioned responses to the auditory stimuli were goal tracking (entering the food tray) and orienting towards the food-paired conditioned stimulus by head turning and rearing and turning. These results imply that rats do not invariably approach a localizable appetitive Pavlovian conditioned stimulus but that stimulus-approach responses depend on the nature and modality of the conditioned stimulus.

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