Learning about water by hungry rats

Elizabeth D. Capaldi, John R. Hovancik, T. L. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In Experiments 1 and 2 hungry rats were trained in a straight alley with consistent food reward (FF), food and nonreward trials intermixed (FN), or food and water trials intermixed (FW). In Experiment 1 rats were tested with nonrewarded trials (extinction) and Groups FN and FW did not differ, both running faster then Group FF. In Experiment 2 rats were tested with consistent water reward, and Group FW ran faster then Group FN, which was superior to Group FF. In Experiment 3, one group of hungry rats was trained on a single alternating schedule of food and water in Phase 1 and was shifted to a single alternating schedule of food and nonreward in Phase 2 (Group FW); the second group (Group FN) received a single alternating schedule of food and nonreward in both phases. When Group FW was shifted to nonreward from water, performance to nonreward was temporarily disrupted. These results indicate that, contrary to previous conclusions, hungry rats can learn about water when drive is strong and food is received in the situation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-72
Number of pages15
JournalLearning and Motivation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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