Undergraduate Honours Theses
Keshen (2011) showed that rats better learned to find visually-distinctive food locations arranged in a circle after watching an expert demonstrator rat forage in the setting. Phillips (2013) failed to find a similar imitative effect when 6 of 12 visually-identical food towers, also arranged in a circle, were consistently baited, but in a random pattern. The present experiment was designed to determine whether rats could display imitative learning using a more-regular pattern. Eight rats were assigned to be either demonstrators or observers. The experimental arena contained 12 identical food towers in a circular formation with every other tower baited. In Phase 1, the demonstrators were free to forage for 50 trials. In Phase 2, the observers were given the opportunity to forage for 20 trials, always after observing an expert demonstrator forage. During their 20 trials, the observers performed better than the demonstrators had during their first 20 trials.