UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Complexity preferences and preference shifts in rats as a function of early visual experience Creighton , Dianne Elizabeth


Preferences were determined for rats as they explored three differentially complex visual stimuli over a series of trials. Early visual experiences were manipulated by differential enrichment periods in the first of two experiments in the study and by differential rearing conditions in the second experiment. Results were evaluated in terms of their support for the following predictions from the theory of Dember and Earl (1957): 1. When experience with stimuli differing in visual complexity leads to preferences for stimuli of different complexities, high-complexity experienced organisms will prefer more complex stimuli than low-complexity experienced organisms. 2. When shifts in preference between trials are expressed, the direction of such shifts will be towards increased complexity. 3. When rate and/or degree of shift in complexity preferences differ between groups receiving different levels of visual complexity experience, high-complexity exposed groups will show the faster and/or greater degree of shift to higher complexities. Support for these predictions was found. Suggestions for improvement of the Dember and Earl model and of the techniques for investigating it were discussed.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.