Learning as a function of sensory stimulation of various intensities

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All rats showed evidence of learning but “age is an important determinant of effects associated with stimulus intensity. For younger animals the relationship between response level and stimulus intensities employed is curvilinear, while that for older animals is rectilinear. The major difference between the two age groups is the manner in which the high-intensity light affected bar pressing; in younger animals this stimulus appears to be aversive, in older animals it is one of the more positively reinforcing stimuli.” When prior experience was used as a variable (as well as age and intensity) the results indicated a single prior experience increases rate of response, regardless of age; but additional experience has no effect. Prior experience seemed to mask the differential effects of light intensity on the younger rats; for older, experienced rats, dim light was the better reinforcer. From Psyc Abstracts 36:01:1EL95L. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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