Effects of set size on identity and oddity abstract-concept learning in rats

Academic Article


  • Match (MTS) and non-match-to-sample (NMTS) procedures are used to assess concepts of identity and oddity across species and are measured by transfer performance to novel stimuli. The number of exemplars used in training (set size) has been shown to affect learning with evidence of larger set sizes promoting concept learning in several species. The present study explored the effects of set size and procedure on concept learning in rats using olfactory stimuli. Concept learning was assessed for 20 rats via transfer tests consisting of novel stimuli after rats were initially trained to either MTS or NMTS with two or ten stimuli as exemplars. No difference was found in acquisition or transfer between MTS and NMTS, but rats trained with ten stimuli performed better on novel transfer tests than rats trained with two. When set size was expanded for rats originally trained with two stimuli and rats were re-tested with ten novel stimuli, performance showed full transfer demonstrating that training with multiple exemplars facilitates concept learning.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lazarowski L; Goodman A; Galizio M; Bruce K
  • Start Page

  • 733
  • End Page

  • 742
  • Volume

  • 22
  • Issue

  • 5