Acquisition and transfer of control by an ambiguous cue

Peter C. Holland, Christine E. Reeve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


In three experiments, the specificity of action of occasion setters was examined, using a discretetrial leverpress procedure. Rats' acquisition of an XA+, A-, XB-, B+ discrimination, in which a single feature cue (X) signaled the reinforcement of responding in the presence of one target cue (A) and the nonreinforcement of responding during another target (B), was no more difficult than acquisition of XA+, A-, X-, B+ or X+, A-, XB-, B+ discriminations, in which X signaled only one target-response-reinforcement contingency. In transfer tests, X did not modulate responding controlled by other cues that were untrained or consistently reinforced, either when the elements of the compounds were presented serially or when they were presented simultaneously in training and testing. However, after serial, but not after simultaneous, compound training, X facilitated responding controlled by a cue that was trained and then extinguished. Implications for the nature of occasion setting and configurai learning are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-124
Number of pages12
JournalAnimal Learning & Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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