Psychology ETDs

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Attempts to demonstrate the intermodal transfer of information in non-human organisms have been largely inconclusive, possibly due to the relatively complex nature of the tasks involved. At the same time, successful performance of intermodal transfer tasks by humans has not enabled clear-cut conclusions to be drawn regarding the nature of the mechanism employed. Although two hypotheses, the mediational and the invariant features, have been proposed in attempts to account for this ability, it has been virtually impossible to rule out mediational processes based on language in interpreting the results. This study employed rats in a simple transfer-of-training task so as to control confoundings due to verbal mediation of responses and to abstractness or complexity of the task. Results show that rats are able to maintain a high level of responding when the positive stimulus is shifted across sensory modalities, so that only the pattern of information remains constant. These results are interpreted as lending support to the invariant features hypothesis.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Frank Anderson Logan

Second Committee Member

John Paul Gluck Jr.

Third Committee Member

Henry Carleton Ellis



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Psychology Commons