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Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0716-9760

Abstract

HAMAME, CARLOS M; DELANO, PAUL H  and  ROBLES, LUIS. Relevance of a neutral cue in a two-choice detection task in the rat. Biol. Res. [online]. 2006, vol.39, n.2, pp.259-267. ISSN 0716-9760.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-97602006000200008.

Relevance of a neutral cue for performance in a two-choice visuospatial detection task was examined. Nine rats were trained, 5 with short intertrial interval (ITI) and 4 with long ITI, to detect a target (lateral lights) presented after a neutral-cue (central light). The removal of the neutral-cue decreased accuracy and increased response latencies and omissions. These results demonstrate that a neutral-cue, preceding the target, is relevant for the performance, suggesting that rats are highly expectant during the neutral-cue and reallocate attentional resources during ITI. Furthermore, latencies were higher, omissions were lower and the fall of accuracy was greater for rats with long than with short ITI, which could indicate that the neutral-cue was more relevant for the former group

Keywords : attention; expectancy; neutral cue; attentional task; rat.

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