In two experiments, mice learned 24-element serial patterns. In Experiment 1, patterns either were perfectly structured or had a single violation element and were either phrased by temporal pauses or unphrased. In Experiment 2, the same violation pattern of Experiment 1 was phrased by temporal cues, visual cues, or a combination of the two. For mice, as for rats and humans in earlier studies, pattern structure predicted pattern learning difficulty and also the nature and relative frequency of errors. Mice, like rats and humans, also found a violation element especially difficult to learn and at that point in the pattern made errors consistent with the structure of the remainder of the pattern. However, in both experiments, phrasing interfered with responding correctly on the element after the phrasing cue. In a third experiment, mice were able to use temporal intervals and, to a lesser degree, visual stimuli as discriminative cues to control spatial responses in the same apparatus used in earlier studies. The results support the view that mice are sensitive to pattern organization but may have difficulty using phrasing cues in the context of serial patterns.
Fountain, Stephen B.; Krauchunas, Scott M.; and Rowan, James D.
"Serial-Pattern Learning in Mice: Pattern Structure and Phrasing,"
The Psychological Record:
2, Article 1.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol49/iss2/1