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Several experiments have investigated the possibility of learning when their subjects have been either restricted in their movements or proprioceptive cues have been reduced. A number, as Harlow and Stagner (1), have restricted movement by the use of drugs (as curare). Thorndike (2) suggests a series of "experiments which aim to provide opportunities to acquire expectations with a minimum of helpful association of accompanying impulses." Typical of these suggested studies was the following: A rat might be placed in a cage which was mounted on wheels. The cage would then be pushed through a simple maze and the animal rewarded at the correct end and not rewarded at incorrect end. Learning would then be tested by observing the performance of the animal on free runs. Waters (3) reports a study based on one of Thorndike's suggestions. He placed two boxes on a table. One contained food. The other was empty. He carried his rats alternately to each box for twenty trials and then set them free to observe their behavior. He concluded that learning did occur, and "that expectancy does operate as a factor influencing the direction and character of behavior." The present study was undertaken to investigate the possibility of learning in physically intact and properly functioning animals when presented with distinctive stimuli which were consistently followed by reward or non-reward but when responses on the part of the animal were greatly reduced.

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Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science





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©1957 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



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