Reversal training facilitates acquisition of new learning in a Morris water maze
Two experiments determined the effect of interference training on subsequent spatial learning in a Morris water maze. Rats first learned that a platform was located in a quadrant marked by landmarks A and B. Different groups of rats either continued or reversed that training. In the reversal condition the platform was opposite to the initially trained quadrant. On test, a new cue, C, was added and the platform was located in the new AC quadrant. Rats that had received the reversal training learned the location of the new platform faster than rats trained with the same platform throughout. In Experiment 2, phase 1 training was conducted by placing the rats on the platforms to ensure that they were located. Experimental rats received a reversal of the platform position in phase 2. A control group received training with both platforms present, and thus had experience with each. When the platform was then located in the new AC quadrant the rats that received reversal training learned the new location faster than those without reversal training. Results are discussed in terms of the effect of interference on the arousal of general attention.
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