Mass action and early environment in the rat

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“In an experiment designed to compare the applicability of the law of mass action to both free-environment and cage-reared rats, 43 free- and 28 cage-reared Ss were subjected to three experimental conditions. Large anterior cortical lesions were made in the brains of one group, small posterior lesions (which avoided the primary visual areas) in the second, and the third group served as normal controls. The animals were then run on 24 problems of the Hebb-Williams closed-field test. In cage-reared Ss, the larger anterior lesions … [had] a greater effect, as would be predicted from Lashley's concept of mass action. But in free-environment rats … the smaller nonstriate posterior lesions … produced the greater deficit. It is concluded that the cerebral cortex of the free-environment rat is not equipotential with respect to spatial-problem-solving behavior, and that the mass-action relationship does not hold for it.” From Psyc Abstracts 36:01:1DC54S. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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