A STUDY OF PLACE VS. RESPONSE
BEHAVIOR, LEARNING AND REASONING
IN THE WHITE RAT
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 08552 5409
The writer is greatly indebted to the many persons whose
cooperation and suggestions made this study possible. As it is im-
possible to mention all of these persons by name, the writer wishes
them to know that their assistance is genuinely appreciated.
Special thanks must be offered to Dr. Richard J. Anderson who
has been extremely helpful from the very inception of this work. Dr.
Rolland H. Waters also contributed many valuable suggestions. The
writer wishes to express his thanks to the other members of his committee,
Dr. E. P. Hore, Dr. E. D. Hinckley, and Dr. O. B. Thomason.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOLEDGENTS. . . . . . . . . .. . ii
LIST OF TABLES . . . . . . . . ..... iv
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. . . . . . . . . . v
I. INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . .... .. 1
II. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN. . . . . . . . . 8
III. RESULTS. . . . . . . . . . . ... .
IV. INTERPRETATION AND DISCUSSION. . . . . ... 27
V. SUMMARY. . . . . . . . . . . ... 33
APPENDIX .......................... 35
BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . ... ..... 5 .
LIST OF TABLES
1. Mean Number of Trials to Criterion on Tasks 1, 2,
3, and 6. . . . . . . . . ... . . 15
2. A Comparison of Place vs. Response Learners on Mean
Number of Trials to Criterion on Tasks 1, 2, 3, and 6 16
3. Relations of Reasoning Measures on Task 4 ...... . 17
L. Mean Measures for the Animals that Reasoned on Task 4 18
5. Mean Measures for the Animals that did not Reason on
Task . . . . . . . . ... . . . 18
6. A Comparison of Reasoners and Non-reasoners on the
Measures on Task . . . . . . . .... 19
7. Data on Mean Number of Trials to Learning Criterion and
Mean Number of Trials to Reasoning on Task $. .... 20
8. Type of Behavior Exhibited on the Test Trials of Tasks
1, 2, and 3 . . . . . . . .... ..... 22
9. Number of Animals Reasoning on Task by Place-Response
Category on Tasks 1, 2, and 3 . . . . .... 23
10. Number of Animals Reasoning by Predominant "Place"
or "Response" Behavior on Tasks 1, 2, and 3 . . .. 23
11. Comparison of Mean Reasoning Measures on Task h and
Place-Response Category on Tasks 1, 2, and 3. . . 24
12. Mean Number of Trials to Reasoning on Task $ by Place-
Response Category on Tasks 1, 2, and 3. . . . . 25
13. Mean Number of Trials to Criterion on Tasks 1, 2, and
3 by Place-Response Category. . . . . . ... 26
14. Mean Number of Trials to Criterion on Task 5 by Place-
Response Category on Tasks 1, 2, and 3. . . . ... 26
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
1. Cross-maze . . . . . . . . ... . .. 2
2. Diagram of Tasks 1 and 6 in Room 1 . . . ... 36
3. Diagram of Task 2 in Room 1 . . . . . . 37
4. Diagram of Task 3 in Room 1 . . . . . . .. 38
5. Diagram of Task 4 in Room 2. . . . . . . 39
6. Diagram of Task 5 in Room 2. . . . . . .. O0
7. The Correct Response for the Rats in Group 1 . ... 4l
8. The Correct Response for the Rats in Group 2 . ... 42
I. Schedule for Group Number I. . . . .... . .
II. Schedule for Group Number II . . . . . ... 4i.
The purpose of this experiment is to investigate the rela-
tionships between "place" or "response" behavior of white rats and two
other variables, their performance in a reasoning situation and speed
of learning a maze habit. It is possible that animals which exhibit
"place" behavior perform more efficiently on the reasoning tasks and
learn more rapidly than the "response" learners. This does not imply
a causal relationship in either direction but it is a beginning
attempt to solve the apparent contradictions found in the literature
on these topics. As a first step in the study of these relationships
it will be necessary to investigate the consistency of the "place"
or "response" behavior of these animals. If this is found to be
inconsistent no consistent relationships with other phenomena are
The question of what is learned, i. e., does the animal
exhibit "place" or "response" behavior, is usually investigated through
the use of a cross-maze (Figure 1) or the rotation of a T-maze. In
the cross-maze the animal is first trained to make a right turn at
the choice point, that is to run from S1 to F1. He is then placed on
the maze at S2. If the animal then makes the same, right turn, at
the choice point, goes from S2 to F2, this is designated "response"
behavior. If, on the test trial, the animal goes to the same location,
makes a left turn and goes from S2 to Fl, this is designated "place"
An extensive survey of the literature failed to find any
experimentation on the consistency of what is learned by each animal.
The work done can be divided into three general areas. The first
group of experiments are those which have attempted to determine
whether rats learn "responses" or "places" (8, 21, 27, 28). The
results of these studies are conflicting and suggest that the animals
learn both. The second general area of experimentation was an attempt
to determine which of the two, "place" or "response" learning, was the
faster, easier (1, 3, 6, 7, 11, 24, 25, 30, 31, 34, 35). The results
of these experiments are not clear cut and this problem remains un-
answered. The third group of studies are those which have attempted
to determine the various factors involved in "place" or "response"
learning (U1, 22, 23, 36). These studies have indicated that "place"
learning is partially dependent upon such things as number of reinforce-
ments, the abundance, and availability of various stimuli. This
research appears to cast doubt upon the idea that rats are either
"place" or "response" learners.
Restle (20) states that the place vs. response issue has been
incorrectly formulated. He says, "The details of the single-unit T-maze
experiments quite clearly indicate that there is nothing in the nature
of the rat which makes it a place or response learner." He asserts
that the animals use all of the available cues when learning a maze
habit. These cues are extra-maze, intra-naze, or kinesthetic in
nature. In the typical "place" vs. "response" experiment the animal
is tested in a situation in which he must either go to the sane location
as on the learning trials (place learning), or he must make the same
movements (response learning). In this type of experiment the various
cues mentioned by Restle are put in direct opposition and the animal
must respond to one set at the expense of the other. The extra-
maze cues are those stimuli which are external to the maze, e. g.,
a stationary light in the room. If these cues are the dominant stimuli
for an animal he will exhibit "place" behavior on the test trial. If
the cues arising from the movement of the animal, the kinesthetic
cues, are dominant, we expect "response" behavior on the test trial.
The intra-maze cues are those stimuli, e. g., olfactory, auditory and
visual, within the maze. These cues can contribute to either "place"
or "response" behavior. In a cross-maze the intra-maze cues direct
the animal to the same location. However, if a T-maze is learned
and then rotated for the test trial these cues contribute to "response"
behavior. These cues direct him along the same arm of the maze as
in the learning trials but this arm now runs to the opposite location.
In the above context, the terms "place" and "response" mean:
What cues do the animal utilize on the test trial? We infer from the
behavior on this test trial which stimuli were dominant in the learning
of the maze habit.
From the evidence, it appears conceivable, as Restle says,
that there is nothing in the nature of the organism which makes it
either an "absolute place" or "absolute response" learner, that rats
cannot be dichotomized into those that utilize only one type of cue
as opposed to those that use only another. However, it must be pointed
out that when rats are put on a cross-maze at S1 and trained to run
to F1 for food and then are tested by being placed at S2, some rats go
to F2 and some go to Fl. Their behavior is different in what appears
to be the same situation. What accounts for this difference in be-
All of the studies in this area have dealt with rats as a
group. They have found, for instance, that the proportion of "place"
learners depends, at least in part, on the extent of extra-maze cues.
None of the studies has explored the consistency of the behavior of a
given animal. We may discover that each animal is relatively consistent
in what he learns. This means that in learning a maze habit, any one
animal will use all of the available cues but that some may utilize
predominantly one type of cue and others may use a different kind.
The animal which is a "response" learner with a maximum of extra-maze
cues may be a "response" learner with a minimum of extra-maze cues.
It is possible that the animals fall on a continuum ranging from those
which depend largely on kinesthetic cues to those which utilize primarily
the cues outside the organism. Thus, the animals may fall on a curve
of a normal distribution rather than into a "place-response" dichotomy.
The primary cues utilized by an animal in a learning situation
may be related to his reasoning behavior. A survey of the literature
has also failed to bring to light any research on the relationship of
"place" or "response" behavior and reasoning. It is necessary to
report some of the work done on reasoning, as the results have been
In 1929, Maier (17) published an extensive study on reasoning
in the white rat. He defined reasoning as, "The ability to bring
together spontaneously two elements of past experience without having
them previously associated by contiguity." Maier believed, on the basis
of his results, that such reasoning does occur in the rat. However,
Wolfe and Spragg (37) claimed that the behavior of Laier's animals
could be explained without recourse to the concept of reasoning. They
repeated three of Maier's experiments, in addition to one problem of
their own design, and failed to confirm his results. In 1935, Maier
defended reasoning in rats in a reply to this criticism. He claimed
that they had not replicated his original work and hence had overlooked
certain relevant factors. Hull (12) also denies reasoning in rats and
attempts to explain Maier's results in stimulus-response terms.
Shepard1 (19), using a fifteen choice-point maze in which a
short-cut could be taken once the maze was learned, also found be-
havior in rats which he believed to be reasoning. He further found
that this reasoning ability was unrelated to learning ability and
interpreted this to mean that learning and reasoning are qualitatively
The results of these experiments are thus ambiguous and the
issue remains unsolved. It is not the purpose of this experiment to
determine whether reasoning does occur in the white rat. This must be
done by other experimentation. However, the detour behavior shown in
these situations will be called reasoning.
No studies have been discovered in the literature on the
relationship between the speed of learning a maze habit and what is
learned. If a relationship is found, it may throw light on the dif-
ferences in the behavior of the animals in what appears to be the same
situation. Once again a causal relationship cannot be implied.
This study undertakes to investigate the following problems:
1Unpublished work which was obtained through Dr. Richard J.
Anderson. Some coverage of this is included in Maier and Schneirla (19).
1. Does the white rat exhibit consistency in what is
learned? This can be further divided into the
animals' consistency in the same and different
2. What is the relationship between what is learned
and reasoning behavior?
3. What is the relationship between what is learned
and speed of learning a maze habit?
As stated previously the purpose of this study is to determine
first the consistency of what is learned and then the relationships
between what is learned, reasoning, and speed of learning.
The subjects in this study were 43 naive, albino rats. They
were maintained on Purina laboratory chow and water ad libitum. They
were housed in the colony room of the Comparative Psychology Labora-
tory at the University of Florida. These animals were between 65 and
75 days of age at the beginning of the experiment.
The animals were run in two groups. Group I, consisting of
21 male animals (numbered 1-21), was received from Rockland Farms on
August 29, 1957 and completed training on November 18, 1957. Origin-
ally, there were 26 animals; however, two died and three refused to
run the maze. Group II, consisting of 22 female animals (numbered 22-
43), was received from Carsworth Farms on January 11, 1958 and com-
pleted training on April 1, 1958. Originally, this group consisted of
26 animals but one died and three refused to run the maze. The two
groups were treated identically insofar as was possible. Any changes
in schedule can be seen by comparing Schedules 1 and 2 in the appendix.
All training and testing of the animals was done between 9:30
a. m. and L:30 p. m. For the first ten days the animals were tamed
by being handled, taught to run a straight elevated runway, and to eat
the moist food in pellet form. This taming took place in Room 2,
shown in Figures 5 and 6. After the taming, each animal was run on
six tasks in the following order:
Task 1: An elevated cross-maze (Figure 2 in the appendix)
Task 2: An elevated pi-maze (Figure 3 in the appendix)
Task 3: A tunnel cross-maze (Figure 4 in the appendix)
Task 4: A reasoning test (Figure 5 in the appendix)
Task 5: A nine-choice-point tunnel-maze with a detour (Figure 6
in the appendix)
Task 6: The rats were again run through Task 1.
The rats were motivated by 20-22 hours of food deprivation.
The reward on all trials was a moist food pellet, about the size of a
large pea, located in a small glass coaster. The animals were fed
ad libitum for one hour a day, feeding being started approximately one-
half to one and one-half hours after completion of the day's trials.
The exceptions to this feeding schedule are noted below and in Schedules
1 and 2. The animals were carried to and from the experimental room
in a cage. The elevated maze pathways were fourteen inches high and
two inches wide, and the tunnel maze pathways were three inches wide
and four and one-half inches high and had the top covered with
one-half inch wire mesh.
Task l.-The rats were run on Maze 1 in Room 1, as is shown in
Figure 2. The illumination in this room was in all cases the natural
light furnished by the three windows shown in this diagram. The non-
correction method was used and a block was placed just beyond the choice
point forcing the animal to make a turn and preventing him from going
straight ahead. The animals were run alternately with four or five
animals. In other words, each animal ran either every fourth or fifth
trial. All of the animals were placed on the maze at S1. One-half
of the animals was trained to go to F1 and the other half was trained
to go to F2. Each animal was run seven trials per day with the
criterion of learning being five successive correct trials. In case
an animal reached the criterion on the seventh trial he was tested
the same day.
When the criterion was reached the block was placed on the
opposite side of the choice point and the animal was placed at S2 for
one trial. The number of trials to criterion and the turn taken on
the test trial at the choice point were recorded. On Tasks 1, 2, and
3 the animal was never rewarded on the test trial.
Task 2.-Seven days after the last animal completed Task 1
they were started on Task 2 (Figure 3). The feeding schedule for this
period is shown in Schedules 1 and 2. Once again each animal was run
every fourth or fifth trial and the non-correction method was used.
One-half of the rats w as trained to run from S1 to F2 and the other
half was trained to run from S2 to F2. See Figures 7 and 8 for the
correct choice for each animal. They were run seven trials per day
with a criterion of five, successive, correct trials. When the criterion
was reached the animal was tested by being placed on the maze at the
S other than the one he had been trained on. In other words, if they
had been trained to run from S1 to F2 they were placed on the maze at
S2. If the animal ran to F2 he was classified a "place" learner. If
he ran to either Fl or F3 he was considered a "response" learner.
Task 3.--Seven days after Task 2 was completed the animals
were started on Task 3 (Figure 4). The feeding schedule for these
days is shown in Schedules 1 and 2. The procedure for this task was
identical with the procedure for Task 1 with the exception, that the
correct choice was counter-balanced, as shown in Figures 7 and 8.
Task 4.--After the completion of Task 3 the rats were kept
on one hour a day feeding for approximately three days and then started
the reasoning test in room 2 (Figure 5). This room had one window with
the venetian blinds closed and light was furnished by four overhead
40 watt fluorescent bulbs.
For twelve consecutive days each animal was placed on the
apparatus, on T, for ten minutes a day. The portion of the maze
represented by the dotted lines and the screen barrier were not in
place so the animal could not go from b to F by this route. The
barrier between F and A was not in place.
On the thirteenth day the animal was again placed on T for
one minute. He was then removed for two minutes and the portion of
the apparatus represented by the dotted lines in addition to the screen
barrier were put in place as shown in the diagram. The animal was
then run one trial from b to F and fed a food pellet. He was then
placed on N, not allowed to move toward n, and run four more trials
to food at F. Retracing and movement toward n were prevented by the
experimenter's hand. The animal was then taken off the apparatus for
one minute. Then he was placed on T at A so that the food was in view
but inaccessible. Four scores were used as measures of reasoning:
1. the time elapsed between the rat being placed at A and his
reaching b on the run to the food,
2. the number of blind alleys (X, Y and Z) taken by the animal
before he solved the problem,
3. tne time elapsed before the animal began looking for a detour
route around the screen, i. e., left area A,
4. the time before the animal first left table T.
This apparatus and procedure is a modification of Maier's
work on reasoning (17).
Task 5.-The next task was the nine-choice-point tunnel maze
(Figure 6). This maze was started five days after the completion of
the reasoning task. Each animal was given five trials per day and
criterion was two successive errorless trials. Once again four or
five animals were run alternately. Backtracking was prevented by
placing a door in the maze if an animal started to retrace. While
the animal was learning the maze the door at the end of blind alley
number 1 was in place. Due to the angle of the maze the animal was
unable to see whether this door was open or closed from the first
choice point. After the animal reached the criterion this door at the
end of blind alley number 1 was opened and the animal was again pa ced
in the maze at the start. Reasoning was measured by the number of
trials until this short cut was taken.
Task 6.-The animals were then put on full diet for three days
and then one-hour a day feeding for three more days. They were then
run again on Task 1, following the same procedure as formerly. The
only change in procedure was the correct turn at the choice point.
This change is shown in Figures 7 and 8.
In reporting the results a comparison of Group I (males) and
Group II (females) will be presented first. This will be followed
by the data on each task and then the relationships of these tasks.
Comparison of Group I and Group II
Of the comparisons made between these two groups only three
significant differences were obtained. Two of these differences
showed faster learning by the females and one difference indicated
the males faster. No significant differences between these groups
were obtained on the reasoning measures or "place" vs. "response"
These groups differ in sex, strain and time of running. No
effort will be made to explain the obtained differences. Much ex-
perimentation (5, 15, 16, 32, 33) has been done in an attempt to deter-
mine the learning efficiency of males as compared to females. It has
produced conflicting results.
In general the groups' performances were similar and the re-
sults for these two groups have been pooled in this study.
Tasks 1, 2, 3, and 6.-On these tasks (see Figures 2, 3,
and 4) each animal was trained on a one-choice-point maze and was then
tested to determine whether he exhibited "place" or "response" behavior.
The mean number of trials to criterion and sigma for all the animals are
presented in Table 1.
MEAN NUMBER OF TRIALS TO CRITERION ON
TASKS 1, 2, 3, AND 6
Task 1 M 9.93
Task 2 63 3.8
Task 3 M 9.79
Task 6 M 9.5
A comparison of the "place" vs. "response" learners on mean
number of trials to criterion on Tasks 1, 2, 3, and 6 is presented in
None of the t ratios of the differences between "place" and
"response" learners on mean numbers of trials to criterion is signifi-
cant at the 5% level of confidence. This fails to support the hypothesis
that speed of learning a maze is related to what is learned on that maze.
A COMPARISON OF PACE VS. RESPONSE LEARIERS ON MEAN NUMBER
OF TRIALS TO CRITERION ON TASKS 1, 2, 3,AND 6
Place Learners Response Learners t ratio
N 21 22
Task 1 M 10.6 9.3 1.08
0, 4.0 3.6
N 12 31
Task 2 M 10.0 7.4 1.95
T 4.0 3.6
N 21 22
Task 3 M 8.5 11.0 1.82
6' 4.7 4.2
N 22 21
Task 6 M 8.5 10.6 1.17
6 3.7 7.2
Task 4.-This task makes use of a modification of Maier's (17)
reasoning apparatus shown in Figure 5. Of the 43 animals run on this
apparatus, 11 failed to reach the food on the test trial, within the
allotted time of 420 seconds. The remaining 32 animals took the route
from b to F, within this time limit. As stated previously, four measures
of reasoning were used:
1. thie required by the animal to reach b on the run to F,
2. the number of blind alleys taken by the animal,
3. time elapsed until the animal first left area A on the apparatus,
4. time elapsed until the animal first left table T on the apparatus.
The intercorrelations for these measures of reasoning are
presented in Table 3.
RELATIONS OF REASONING MEASURES ON TASK 4
Measures of Reasoning Pearson
I and II .47
I and III .15
I and IV .26
II and III -.08
II and IV .16
III and IV .76
Measures III and IV are not independent. Often when the animal
left area A he also immediately left the table T. These low inter-
correlations seem to cast doubt on the assumption that all of these
indices measure the same thing, i. e., reasoning. It is possible that
reasoning is not unitary. This writer believes Measure I to be the
most valid index of reasoning as this indicates the length of time re-
quired by the animal to achieve his goal by use of the detour route.
The mean scores of each measure for the animals that reasoned on
Task 4 (went from b to F on the test trial) are presented in Table h.
The mean scores of each measure for the animals that did not
reason (did not go from b to F on the test trial) are shown in Table 5.
It must be pointed out that seven of the 11 animals that did not
reason seemed to "give up" before the allotted time had elapsed.
These animals turned their backs on the food and sat, washed, and ap-
peared to sleep.
MEAN MEASURES FOR THE
ANIMALS THAT REASONED ON TASK 4
I II III IV
H 135.3" 2.1 alleys 18.2" 42.1"
S 108.3 1.8 21.2 39.8
1EAN MEASURES FOR THE ANIYAIS THAT DID NOT REASON ON TASK 4
II III IV
M 1.8 alleys 75.9" 91.6"
2.2 98 118.0
The t ratios for the differences between the reasoners and non-
reasoners on mean scores for Measures II, III, and IV are presented in
Table 6. No t is indicated for Measure I as the non-reasoners did not
reach point F.
None of the t ratios between the differences of reasoners and
non-reasoners on mean scores of Measures II, III, and IV is significant
at the 5% level of confidence. These results further suggest that
Measure I is unrelated to Measures II, III, and IV on Task 4.
A COMPARISON OF REASONERS AND NON-REASONERS ON THE
MEASURES ON TASK 4
Reasoning Measures t ratio
Task 5.-This task makes use of the nine-choice-point tunnel
maze with a detour route (Figure 6). Forty-three animals were started
on this maze; however, one refused to run and one animal was terminated
at the end of sixty trials when he had not reached learning criterion.
One additional animal was terminated when he had failed to reason after
37 reasoning trials. Forty-one animals learned this maze and 40
exhibited reasoning, i. e., took the detour route. The mean and sigma
for number of trials to learning criterion and number of trials to
reasoning are presented in Table 7.
The correlation, r =+.33, between number of trials to learning
criterion and number of trials to reasoning by use of the detour route,
is significantly different from r = .00 at the 5% level of confidence.
This correlation indicates a positive relationship between speed of
learning and speed of reasoning as measured by this maze.
DATA ON NEAN NUMBER OF TRIALS TO LEARNING CRITERION AND MEAN
NUMBER OF TRIALS TO REASONING ON TASK 5
Trials to Trials to
Learning Criterion Reasoning
N 41 ho
M 21.9 6.2
C' 9. 6.8
We now turn to the relationships between the various tasks and
investigate the three problems presented in Chapter I.
Consistency of What is Learned
Task 1 and Task 6.--On a comparison of what is learned on Tasks
1 and 6, we find that 16 of the animals were consistent, i. e., ex-
hibited the same type of behavior on the test trial of both mazes.
Of the consistent animals, 8, or 50%, showed "place" behavior in both
situations. On a chance basis we would expect 50% (21.5) of the 43
animals to be consistent. A X2 2.82, with 1 degree of freedom,
between the obtained and expected frequencies of consistent and incon-
sistent animals is not significant at the 5% level of confidence.
Notice should be taken that the majority of the animals were incon-
sistent. These results suggest that the "place" or "response" behavior
of the individual animal may not be consistent over time in the same
Task 1, Task 2, and Task 3.-A comparison of the kind of be-
havior, "place" or "response," of each animal on Tasks 1, 2, and 3
yields further information on the consistency of what is learned.
In presenting these data the following designations are used:
1. 3 R -- is used to indicate the animals that exhibited
response behavior on the test trials of all three mazes.
2. 2 R-l P is used to indicate the animals that exhibited
response behavior on two of the mazes and place behavior on
3. 1 R-2 P is used to indicate the animals that exhibited
place behavior on two of the mazes and response behavior on
4. 3 P is used to indicate the animals that exhibited place
behavior on all three mazes.
The number of animals in each of the "place-response" categories
and the number that would be expected in each by chance is shown in
The chi-square (X2 = 3.45, with 2 degrees of freedom) between
the obtained and expected frequencies in these "place-response" cate-
gories is not significant at the 5% level of confidence. This fails to
support the hypothesis that animals are either "place" or "response"
learners and suggests that animals fall on a normal distribution rather
than into a dichotomy.
TYPE OF BEHAVIOR EXHIBITED ON THE TEST TRIALS OF
TASKS 1, 2, AND 3
3 R 2 R-1 P 1 R-2 P 3 P
N 8 19 13 3
Expected N 5.4 16.2 16.2 5.1
Comparison of Reasoning Ability as Measured on
Task 4 and Task 5
As stated previously, on Task 4, 32 of the animals exhibited
reasoning behavior. On Task 5, 40 of the 41 animals that learned this
maze exhibited reasoning behavior.
The correlation, r = +.01, between reasoning on Task 5 and
Measure I of reasoning on Task 4 is not significantly different from
r = .00. This low correlation casts doubt upon the assumption that
these tasks, or at least the criteria used, both measure the same thing.
Relationship of What is Learned and
Tasks 1, 2, 3, and Task I.-The information shown in Table 9
indicates the number of animals in each "place-response" category that
reasoned on Task 4, and the number that would be expected to reason by
As the expected frequency for animals in the 3 P category is less
than 5, the categories have been combined to include those that are
predominantly "response" learners as opposed to those that are pre-
dominantly "place" learners. These results are presented in Table 10.
NUMBER OF ANIMALS REASONING ON TASK BY PLACE-RESPONSE
CATEGORY ON TASKS 1, 2, AND 3
3 R 2 R-l P 1 R-2 P 3 P
N 8 19 13 3
Number Reasoning 3 14 13 2
Expected Reasoning 6 14.25 9.5 2.25
NUMBER OF ANIMALS REASONING BY PREDOIMANT PACEC" OR
"RESPONSE" BEHAVIOR ON TASKS 1, 2,AND 3
N 27 16
Number Reasoning 17 15
Expected Reasoning 20.1 11.9
The chi-square (X2 1.29, with 1 degree of freedom) between
expected and obtained frequencies in the "place-response" categories is
not significant at the 5% level of confidence. This datum fails to
support the hypothesis that what is learned on Tasks 1, 2, and 3 is
related to whether or not an animal reasons on Task 4.
Table 11 presents the data comparing the mean scores for the
four measures of reasoning on Task 4, for the 32 animals reasoning,
with their "place-response" category on Tasks 1, 2, and 3.
COMPARISON OF MEAN REASONING MEASURES ON TASK 4 AND
PIACE-RESPONSE CATEGORY ON TASKS 1, 2, AND 3
Place-Response Category F
3R 2R-1 P 1 R-2 P 3 P ratio
N 8 19 14 3
I 102" 113.6" 142.9" 93.5" .23
II 2.3 alleys 2.5 alleys 1.85 alleys 1.5 alleys .35
III 16.7" 10.5" 27.3 22" 1.28
IV 59" 32.7" 49.2" 36.5" .57
None of the F ratios involving mean reasoning scores by
"place-response" category is significant at the 5% level of confidence.
These data do not support the hypothesis, for those animals that
reason, that reasoning, as measured by these criteria, is related to
what is learned on Tasks 1, 2, and 3.
Tasks 1, 2, 3, and Task 5.-The relationship between what
is learned on Tasks 1, 2, and 3 and the reasoning behavior on Task 5
is presented in Table 12.
MEAN NUMBER OF TRIALS TO REASON G ON TASK 5 BY
PLACE-RESPONSE CATEGORY ON TASKS 1, 2, AND 3
3 R 2 R- 1 R-2 P 3 P F ratio
N 7 18 12 3
M 8.0 5.5 6.7 1.3 1.00
a 9.4 4.3 7.1 .54
The F ratio involving the mean reasoning score by "place-response"
category is not significant at the 5% level of confidence, and fails
to support the hypothesis that what is learned is related to reasoning
efficiency as measured on Task 5.
Relation of What is Learned and Speed of Learning
Tasks 1, 2, and 3.-It was previously stated that no relationship
was found between the number of trials to criterion and "place" or
"response" behavior on any individual one-choice-point maze. Table 13
presents data on the mean number of trials to criterion according to
the animals "place-response" category on Tasks 1, 2, and 3.
None of the F ratios of the differences of mean number of trials
to criterion by "place-response" category is significant at the 5%
level of confidence. No relationships are obtained between the speed
of learning and what is learned.
Table 14 presents the relation of what is learned and the number
of trials to learning criterion on a complex maze (Task 5).
MEAN NUMBER OF TRIALS TO CRITERION ON TASKS 1, 2, AND 3
BY PIACE-RESPONSE CATEGORY
3 R 2 R-l P 1 R-2 P 3 P F ratio
N 8 19 13 3
Task 1 7.75 9.68 11.77 9.33 1.84
Task 2 6.37 8.30 8.92 6.67 .94
Task 3 10.50 10.00 9.38 8.33 .18
MEAN NUMBER OF TRIALS TO CRITERION ON TASK 5 by
PLACE-RESPONSE CATEGORY ON TASKS 1, 2, AND 3
3 R 2 R- P 1 R-2 P 3 P F ratio
N 7 18 13 3
M 24.4 20.6 21.5 25 .36
7.8 8.9 11.4 4.5
The F ratio of the differences between mean number of trials to
learning criterion on Task 5 by "place-response" category is not signifi-
cant at the 5% level of confidence. These results do not verify the
hypothesis that speed of learning a complex maze is related to the "place"
or "response" behavior of the animals.
INTERPRETATION AND DISCUSSION
Consistency of What is Learned
The results suggest that any individual rat does not show
absolute consistency in the kinds of cues that it utilizes when learning
a maze. It was stated previously that it is probable that each animal
uses all available cues in a learning situation. However, when these
cues are made to conflict, some animals appear to utilize the extra-
maze cues while others appear to utilize the kinesthetic cues. The
indications are that the animals can and do utilize various cues in
different situations. These findings cast doubt on the assumption that
rats fall into a dichotomy of either "place" or "response" learners.
In a repeat of the same maze (Tasks 1 and 6) 63% of the animals
were inconsistent on the test trials. This indicates that the animal
may not respond to the same cues even in the same situation over time.
There were approximately 65 days between the two test trials, so the
fact that the animals were not rewarded for their choice on the first
test trial is probably unimportant.
From Restle's framework, this indicates that there is nothing
within the animal which makes it respond uniquely to either kinesthetic
cues or to the cues originating outside of the organism.
A further indication that the animals do not fall into a
"place-response" dichotomy is found by comparing the behavior of the
animals on the test trials of Tasks 1, 2, and 3. The responses, as
shown in Table 8, tend to fall in a normal distribution. This could
be due to one of two factors:
1. The animals are inconsistent and there is nothing in the organism
which makes it tend to be either a "place" or "response"
learner. In other words, the behavior of the animals on the
test trial is determined by the wealth of extra-maze cues,
as has been shown in earlier studies, and chance.
2. The animals are relatively consistent from situation to
situation. They range from those animals which are "place"
learners in almost any situation to those that are primarily
The first alternative seems more likely in light of the fact
that animals appear to be inconsistent on a repeat of the same situa-
tion. These results tend to support Restal's hypothesis that there is
nothing in the nature of a rat which makes it a "place" or "response"
learner. Further investigation should be carried out on the question
of relative consistency.
One observation should be made at this point. Task 2, the pi
maze, produced a relatively small number of "place" learners. This
might be due to the fact that on Tasks 1 and 3 the intra-maze cues com-
bined with the extra-maze cues to direct the animals to the same loca-
tion. On Task 2 there were no available intra-maze cues. Experimenta-
tion should be done to determine the relative importance of the intra-
maze cues and attempt to determine just what these cues are. This has
been done by Walker, Dember and Earl (35) but the intra-maze cues were
exaggerated by painting the alleys different colors.
The results discussed therefore are in essential agreement
with the ideas presented by Restle (20). It appears that any valid
learning theory must take into account the fact that animals may use
varied cues in a learning situation. The classical approach to the
"place" vs. "response" controversy, in light of these results, seems
to lead us into a blind alley. Further research should attempt to
determine the relative importance of the various cues. This can be
done by manipulating the cues mentioned previously.
Relation of What is Learned and Reasoning Ability
Before the relationship between reasoning ability and place-
response behavior is reported the various criteria of reasoning should
On Task 4 there were four measures of reasoning used. These
measures were adapted from Maier's (17) criteria. The intercorrela-
tions between these measures, as presented in Table 3, are rather low.
The highest correlation is between measures III and IV, r -+.76. It
has been pointed out previously that these two measures are not inde-
pendent. These results cast doubt on the idea that all of these criteria
measure the same thing. It is possible that reasoning is not unitary
and these criteria are measures of different aspects of reasoning.
Further doubt is cast on the validity of these measures by
comparing the scores of those animals that reason, obtain food on the
test trial, with the scores of the non-reasoners. No significant
differences were found between the measures for these two groups. Two
tenable explanations to account for these results are:
1. This task does not measure reasoning ability in the white rat.
2. This task can measure whether or not an animal does reason
but the criteria are not sufficiently sensitive to measure the
efficiency or speed of reasoning.
These results question whether Maier's apparatus really does
demonstrate reasoning in the white rat. This does not imply that
reasoning does not exist in these animals.
The correlation, r =+.01, between reasoning on Task 5 and
Measure I of reasoning on Task 4 shows that these two tasks are not
measuring the same thing.
On Task 5 the correlation, r =+.33, between number of trials
to learning and number of trials to reasoning is significantly different
from r = .00 at the 5% level of confidence. This indicates that the
faster learners tend also to reason faster than the slower learners.
These results are contrary to those obtained by Shepard (191 who found
no relationship between speed of learning and speed of reasoning in a
similar maze. No relationships were found between speed of learning a
complex maze and the reasoning measures of Maier's apparatus.
On comparing what is learned and reasoning behavior, we find:
1. no relationship between whether or not an animal reasons
on Maier's apparatus and his "place-response" behavior,
2. no relationships between the four measures of reasoning on
fmaier's apparatus and "place-response" behavior,
3. no relationship between reasoning on the modification of
Shepard's maze and "place-response" behavior.
These results all fail to indicate a relationship between what
is learned and reasoning ability as these have been measured. If the
animals are inconsistent in their "place-response" behavior these
results would be expected. A relationship would suggest that the
animals were relatively consistent in the cues that are predominant
for them in a learning situation.
Relation between What is Learned and Speed of Learning
This topic was investigated in three ways:
1. the relationship between number of trials to criterion in a
one-choice-point maze and the behavior of the animal on the test trial
of that maze,
2. the relationship between what is learned on three one-choice-
point mazes and number of trials to criterion on each of these mazes,
3. tne relationship between what is learned on three one-choice-
point mazes and number of trials to criterion on a nine-choice-point
No relationships were found in any of the above conditions.
This is not proof, of course, that no relationships exist, but it does
suggest that speed of learning is not related to "place-response"
The purpose of this study was to determine:
1. Is the "place" or "response" behavior of a white rat
2. What relationships exist between reasoning and "place"
or "response" behavior?
3. What relationships exist between speed of learning a
maze habit and "place" or "response" behavior?
This experiment consisted of each of the 43 animals being run
on six tasks. Four of these tasks consisted of the rat learning a
one-choice-point maze and then being tested for "place" or "response"
behavior. Of the two remaining tasks, used to measure reasoning, one
was a modification of Maier's (17) technique and the other was adapted
from Shepard (19).
1. indicate that the animals are inconsistent in their "place"
or "response" behavior and do not fall into a "place" vs.
"response" dichotomy. It is still conceivable that the
animals fall on a continuum as to the cues that are predomi-
nant in learning a maze habit.
2. fail to find any relationship between "place" or "response"
behavior and reasoning in the white rat, and
3. fail to indicate any relationship between "place" or "response"
behavior and speed of learning a maze habit as measured by
number of trials to criterion.
It appears that the place vs. response controversy is incorrectly
formulated. The results indicate, as Restle (20) suggests, that the
animals use all of the available cues in a learning situation. Further
study should attempt to identify these cues and determine their rela-
tive importance rather than follow the "place-response" experimentation
classically carried on in this area.
Doubt is cast upon the assertion that the apparatus modified
from Maier (17) measures reasoning. Further research in this area
should attempt to ascertain whether reasoning can occur in the white
Figure 2.--Diagram of Tasks 1 and 6 in Room 1.
z= ~q:I II 81[3i
J -. i LT '; ..
Figure 3.-Diagram of Task 2 in Room 1.
T L r
_ ib__ 7A -
L^ UI^TOIZ-/ ^
Figure U.-Diagram of Task 3 in Room 1.
Figure 5.-Diagram of Task 4 in Room 2.
'C I& -P
Figure 6.--Diagram of Task 5 in Room 2.
Number 1 2 3 6
1 R* R R R
2 R R R L**
3 R R R R
4 R R R L
5 R R L R
6 R R L L
7 R R L R
8 R L L L
9 R L L R
10 R L R L
11 R L R R
12 R L R L
13 L L R R
14 L L R L
15 L L L R
16 L R L L
17 L R L R
18 L R R L
19 L R R R
20 L L L L
21 L L L R
Figure 7.--The Correct Response for the Rats
in Group 1
*R = right
L = left
Figure 8.-The Correct Response
in Group 2
*R = right
*L = left
for the Rats
Schedule for Group Number I
Aug. 29, 1957
Aug. 30-Sept 8
Sept. 30-Oct. 3
Oct. 23-Nov. 8
55-65 days of age
Run on Task 1
Fed one hour per day
Run on Task 2
Fed one hour per day
Run on Task 3
Fed one hour per day
Run on Task L
Fed one hour per day
Run on Task 5
Fed one hour per day
Run again on Task 1
Schedule for Group Number II
Jan. 11, 1958
Jan. 31-Feb. 2
Mar. 30-April 1
55-65 days of age
Run on Task 1
Fed one hour per day
Run on Task 2
Fed one hour per day
Run on Task 3
Fed one hour per day
Run on Task 4
Fed one hour per day
Run on Task 5
Fed one hour per day
Run again on Task 1
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Leming Bassett Corlis was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 6,
1930. He attended public schools there until the age of eleven at
which time his family moved to Melbourne, Florida. He graduated from
Melbourne High School in June, 19l8. He entered the University of
Florida that September and received the Bachelor of Arts degree with
a major in psychology in February, 1953. He continued at the Univer-
sity in the Graduate School and obtained a Master of Arts degree with
a psychology major in February of 1951. At the present time his
future plans are indefinite.
This dissertation was prepared under the direction of the
chairman of the candidate' supervisory ccamittee and has been approved
by all members of the committee. It was submitted to the Dean of the
College of Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate Council and was
approved as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.
June 9, 1958
Dean, College of Ats and Sciences
tL W, ---
-a Dean, Graduate School
./d U. //,, i_