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Spermophilus tridecemlineatus were trained to solve a simple visual discrimination problem. Following a 15-day non-training period the ground squirrels were trained on-a series of five discrimination reversal problems. Criterion and non-correction procedures were followed during original and reversal training. During the non-training period one half of the subjects (Group I) remained in the training laboratory and the remainder of the animals (Group II) hibernated.

It was possible to train the animals to solve the original discrimination and the reversal problems. No statistically significant differences were observed between performances on consecutive problems. However, differences approaching statistical significance were observed between performances on the first and second reversals in both experimental groups. A significant difference was observed between performance on the first reversal and improved performance on the fifth reversal in Group II. Hibernation had no significant effect on performance.

The results indicate that it is feasible to train S. tridecemlineatus to solve visual discrimination reversal problems. With minor modifications reversal training may be a useful index of memory in this species.



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First Committee Member (Chair)

Marvin LeRoy Riedesel

Second Committee Member

Earl Whitfield Bourne

Third Committee Member

Clifford Smeed Crawford

Fourth Committee Member

David Wilmont Bessemer

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