Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2018

Course Name

Behavioral Neuroscience


Joshua Wolf


Psychology; College of Arts & Sciences


The purpose of this study was to see what rats learn about the elements of a compound stimulus (a stimulus composed of two different stimuli), and whether their learning differs if the compound is from the same modality (intra-modal), i.e. both visual, or from different modalities (inter-modal), i.e. visual and auditory. We hypothesized that the rats would respond more to the compound stimuli than to the single stimuli (Pearce and Wilson, 1990), more to the compound modality of inter-modal elements than to the compound modality of intra-modal elements (Miller, 1971 and Gingras, 2009), equally to the intra-modal elements (Rescorla, 1972), and unequally to the inter-modal elements, possibly due to which element they paid attention to (Reynolds, 1961) or which element was of the greatest intensity (Birkimer, 1969). Our results showed that the rats learned the experimental (inter-modal) compound better than the control (intra-modal) compound, but that there was no difference in responding to any of the elements, so there was no attentional bias or intensity effect.