Tolman, E.C. (1948) Cognitive maps in rats and men. Psychological Review, 55, 189-208.
(1) First, there is a school of animal psychologists which believes that the maze behavior of rats is a matter of mere simple stimulus-response connections. The rat's central nervous system, according to this view, may be likened to a complicated telephone switchboard.
There are the incoming calls from sense-organs and there are the outgoing messages to muscles. Learning, according to this view, consists in the respective strengthening and weakening of various of these connections;
Thus it is as if- although this is certainly not the way this subgroup would themselves state it- the satisfaction-receiving part of the rat telephoned back to Central and said to the girl: "Hold that connection; it was good; and see to it that you blankety-blank well use it again the next time these same stimuli come in."
(2) Let us turn now to the second main school. We agree with the other school that the rat in running a maze is exposed to stimuli and is finally led as a result of these stimuli to the responses which actually occur. We feel, however, that the intervening brain processes are more complicated.. than do the stimulus- response psychologists.
Secondly, we assert that the central office itself is far more like a map control room than it is like an old- fashioned telephone exchange. The stimuli, which are allowed in, are not connected by just simple one-to-one switches to the outgoing responses. Rather, the incoming impulses are usually worked over and elaborated in the central control room into a tentative, cognitive-like map of the environment.
Tolman, E.C., Ritchie, B.F. and Kalish, D. (1946) Studies in spatial learning: I. Orientation and the short cut. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 36, 13-24.
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Data = most rats took a route in the direction of the goal (see Pearce, 1997; page 107)