The possibility that spatial learning might be associative in nature would compel us to review some well established preexposure phenomena such as latent learning or instantaneous transfer, which have been taken as evidence for the use of non-associative gestaltic cognitive maps.
FROM GESTALTIC TO ASSOCIATIVE COGNITIVE MAPS: LATENT LEARNING AND INSTANTANEOUS TRANSFER
A classic procedure for investigating the effects of prior exposure on subsequent spatial learning is the latent learning task first reported by Blodgett (1929; see also Tolman & Honzik, 1930).
This latent learning experiment is still often taken as evidence for learning in the absence of reinforcement, thus demonstrating the use of gestaltic cognitive maps by rats.
The latent learning experiments reviewed above involve animals exploring a maze in such a way that they can learn something useful for finding their way towards a goal.