An Examination of the Impact of Enrichment on Learning a Novel Task

Faculty Sponsor

Angie Vernon


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-28-2022


Research demonstrates the importance of enrichment in learning a new task. The effect of enrichment type has not been as thoroughly examined. The purpose of the current study was to observe behavioral and statistical differences between enrichment types. Specifically, rats were trained to perform an operant learning task after experiencing one of three treatments: environmental enrichment, social enrichment, and control. Findings demonstrate variability in performance in learning the bar press response. Behavioral observations were notated along each step of the learning process, displaying differences not shown in numerical data. Taken together, these data revealed that enrichment had an impact on rates of and resistance to extinction.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Amy Denton is a senior psychology student at Valparaiso University graduating in May 2022. She became interested in this further research after a lab class at the university involving rats. Through her work and future schooling, she hopes to help children develop through social and emotional learning.

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