Effects of cross-modal transfer on direct and reversal learning in the rat

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In the first experiment, using within- and between-sensory modality CSs, direct and reversal transfer of active avoidance learning was studied in 48 male and 48 female albino rats. Training in each of two sessions employed either a high- or low-intensity light or noise CS. The analyses of both raw score data and proportional or savings score data indicated significant cross-modal transfer in direct as well as reversal learning conditions. Although females learned faster than males, there were no sex differences in amount of transfer. A second experiment, which examined the potential of compound conditioning within the cross-modal learning procedures, replicated the cross-modal results of the first experiment without finding evidence for compound conditioning. These results are interpreted in terms of specific and nonspecific transfer effects during avoidance learning. © 1986 Psychonomic Society, Inc.

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