Serial positive patterning: Implications for “occasion setting”

Robert T. Ross, Peter C. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Rats received positive patterning training in which a serial light-tone compound was reinforced with food and the elements were separately nonreinforced. Conditioned responding of a form characteristic of auditory conditioned stimuli emerged to the tone within the serial compound. Separate presentations of the elements evoked little conditioned behavior. Discrimination performance was better when the light-tone interval was 20 sec than when it was 5 sec. These data suggested that the light acquired a conditional cue or occasion-setting function such that the light signaled when a tone-food relation was in effect. Comparisons with data from previous experiments involving serial feature-positive discriminations indicated that the light’s ability to serve as an occasion setter was relatively independent of its response-evoking capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-162
Number of pages4
JournalBulletin of the Psychonomic Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


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