Temporal map formation in appetitive second-order conditioning in rats

Dómhnall Jennings, Kimberly Kirkpatrick*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Three experiments examined whether second-order conditioning resulted in the formation of a fully-featured temporal map, as proposed by the temporal coding hypothesis. Experiments 1 and 2 examined second-order conditioning with different first- and second-order relationships. Measures of the strength of second-order conditioning were mostly consistent with the temporal coding hypothesis; second-order conditioning was best with arrangements in which CS2 occurred prior to the time that the US normally occurred during CS1-US presentations. However, there was no evidence of anticipatory timing during CS2 during second-order conditioning. A third experiment directly examined whether a fully-featured temporal map was formed during second-order conditioning by examining the acquisition of anticipatory timing in subsequent reinforced second-order trials. The results of Experiment 3 suggested that the effects obtained in Experiments 1 and 2 were due to learning of the temporal order and coincidence of events that resulted in the formation of an ordinal temporal map, but that precise durations were not encoded.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-72
Number of pages13
JournalBehavioural Processes
Early online date06 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Appetitive conditioning
  • Rats
  • Second-order conditioning
  • Temporal map
  • Timing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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