Anastasia’s Clicker Training

Week 1 (August 30- September 5, 2009)

Goal: The goal for this week is to classically condition the rat to establish an association between the food pellets and the hand held clicker. Once this relationship is created, the rat should always respond to the clicking noise by coming over to the correct corner for her food.

The first day, I put a little piece of the food in a corner of the box and when Anastasia went over there to eat it, I would push the clicker; therefore, establishing a relationship between the food and the clicker. Anastasia did not like the sound of the clicker at first and would not take the food, but would instead run away.  After awhile, she habituated to the sound and she began to eat the food. It has been a week and she still has not made an association between the food and clicker. I tried clicking to test if she would come over to me for the food. She did not. I have spent about an hour each day in the lab and sometimes going in twice in one day.

New Plan: I think I might try and reverse what I have been doing in the lab. Instead, I will click and have her come to me for the food at the beginning of our sessions. I was having her go to a corner to get the food and click for the first 30 minutes. Than I would try and test her after that, but she was always too tired. Hopefully this new strategy will work.

This is an example of how small her food is when she is being trained.

Anastasia's Food

Week 2 ( September 6- 12, 2009)

Goal: The goal for this week is to try a new approach to clicker train Anastasia since the old way was not working.

My new strategy worked on the first try! I was able to put her into the box, click, and have her come to the corner to recieve food. I had been working with Anastasia for a week with clicker training and no progress was shown until today. I have a short video showing that she is clicker trained (it only took a week, but it was a VERY long week and I am sure everyone in the class can agree with me on that). The rest of this week was spent reinforcing the clicker and food relationship.

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