Type of feature affects transfer in operant serial feature-positive discriminations

Murray J. Goddard, Peter C. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In two experiments, the effects of feature identity in operant serial feature-positive discriminations were examined with rats. Rats were trained with two serial feature-positive discriminations (F1 → T1+/T1- and F2 → T2+/T2-), in which different operants were reinforced with delivery of a sucrose solution during two auditory target cues (T1 and T2). The features (F1 and F2) were two visual cues, two flavored sucrose solutions, or one visual cue and one sucrose solution. Transfer of a feature's control to the target of the other discrimination was observed only when the features were from the same modality. When observed, transfer responding was of the form originally trained to the target, rather than the feature, and was preserved after feature extinction. Control groups showed that the differential transfer was not solely the consequence of differential feature generalization. Implications for theories of occasion setting are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-276
Number of pages11
JournalAnimal Learning and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1996
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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