Using transfer methodology, several possible factors that could have affected the expression of serial position learning were examined with runway-trained rats. A 3-trial series (8NP)-for which 8 and P refer to series trials when sucrose (8) and plain (P) Noyes pellets were used as a reward, and N refers to a trial without reward-was the basis for training in the first 2 and final experiments. Transfer tests in Experiment 1 altered reward memories, the time between trials in the series, or both. Tests in Experiment 2 altered the number of trials in the series while maintaining essential memory relationships. Experiment 3 involved a 4-trial series (P8NP or 8PN8) and transfer tests with changed memory (NNNN). In Experiment 4, training on an RNR series, where R could be either 8 or P in either large or small magnitudes, was followed by a transfer test to NNN and a final test in which the rats were prevented from running on the 1 st or 2nd series trial. The findings support a view that position and memory learning are compatible sources of serial effects, and they suggest temporal and response cues may not be crucial in position effects.
Burns, Richard A.; Johnson, Kendra S.; Harris, Brian A.; Kinney, Beth A.; and Wright, Sarah E.
"Functional Cues for Position Learning Effects in Animals,"
The Psychological Record: Vol. 54
, Article 5.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol54/iss2/5