The influence of pre-experimental experience on social discrimination in rats (Rattus norvegicus)

Burman, Oliver and Mendl, Michael (2003) The influence of pre-experimental experience on social discrimination in rats (Rattus norvegicus). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 117 (3). pp. 344-349. ISSN 0735-7036

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The influence of pre-experimental experience on social discrimination in rats (Rattus norvegicus)
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Abstract

The authors used laboratory rats (Rattus norvegicus) of known relatedness and contrasting familiarity to assess the potential effect of preexperimental social experience on subsequent social recognition. The authors used the habituation-discrimination technique, which assumes that multiple exposures to a social stimulus (e.g., soiled bedding) ensure a subject discriminates between the habituation stimulus and a novel stimulus when both are introduced simultaneously. The authors observed a strong discrimination if the subjects had different amounts of preexperimental experience with the donors of the 2 stimuli but a weak discrimination if the subjects had either equal amounts of preexperimental experience or no experience with the stimuli. Preexperimental social experience does, therefore, appear to influence decision making in subsequent social discriminations. Implications for recognition and memory research are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The authors used laboratory rats (Rattus norvegicus) of known relatedness and contrasting familiarity to assess the potential effect of preexperimental social experience on subsequent social recognition. The authors used the habituation-discrimination technique, which assumes that multiple exposures to a social stimulus (e.g., soiled bedding) ensure a subject discriminates between the habituation stimulus and a novel stimulus when both are introduced simultaneously. The authors observed a strong discrimination if the subjects had different amounts of preexperimental experience with the donors of the 2 stimuli but a weak discrimination if the subjects had either equal amounts of preexperimental experience or no experience with the stimuli. Preexperimental social experience does, therefore, appear to influence decision making in subsequent social discriminations. Implications for recognition and memory research are discussed.
Keywords:Animal Welfare, Pre-experimental experience
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C120 Behavioural Biology
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D328 Animal Welfare
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:3839
Deposited By: Oliver Burman
Deposited On:13 Jan 2011 21:48
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:53

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