This study explores the classical conditioning of a snake in order to understand and interpret the physiological responses and behavior exhibited regarding experimental design. The conditioning process involves scent and auditory stimuli where the snake is exposed to running water sounds and a mouse scent. The purpose of this research study is to examine how the snake will later associate the scent of the mouse to the sound and how it would react when sound is the only stimuli administered. The type of snake species used was a young Brook’s Kingsnake. The snake was placed in a test tank and the experiment was split into four conditioning sessions and one additional session throughout four days of the week to test the outcome. The first session consisted of familiarization with foreign objects and new placement. The following sessions are followed by a series of conditioning the snake to the sound with the mouse scent. The results indicate that the length of conditioning affected the snake. The results could have been more satisfactory if it was shortened to about four or five tests conducted through two sessions in about two days instead since it was twice as long. This is showed based on the second day’s data where the snake was most responsive to the stimuli (Average tongue flicks = 102, duration spent near stimuli = 3 minutes, and speed reaction was moderate).
Ghanem, Zeina Y., "Snake Reciprocation in Terms of Classical Conditioning: Scent and Auditory Stimuli" (2022). Undergraduate Research Awards, Hollins University. 65.
Undergraduate Research Awards - 2022 Finalist, FY/Sophomore category