Douglas A. Williams
Acquisition of superexcitatory properties by an irrelevant background stimulus
Williams, Douglas A.; Mehta, Rick; Poworoznyk, Tracy M.; Orihel, Jane S.; George, David N.; Pearce, John M.
Tracy M. Poworoznyk
Jane S. Orihel
Dr David George D.George@hull.ac.uk
John M. Pearce
Six appetitive conditioning experiments with rats demonstrated that an irrelevant X accompanying a negative patterning discrimination (XA+, XB+, XAB-) acquires extraordinarily high levels of conditioned excitation. Responding to X was similar to that evoked by 2 excitors in combination (Experiment 1) and was greater than responding to a separately reinforced Y (Experiments 2-5). Superexcitatory properties were not acquired by X in the nonpatterning discriminations of Experiments 2-4. Experiment 5 found that A and B, if anything, were weakly excitatory. Making them more strongly excitatory after conditioning did not Interfere with retention of the original discrimination (Experiment 6). Results support a counterintuitive prediction of associative theories that, under carefully arranged conditions, irrelevant stimuli may acquire superexcitatory properties.
Williams, D. A., Mehta, R., Poworoznyk, T. M., Orihel, J. S., George, D. N., & Pearce, J. M. (2002). Acquisition of superexcitatory properties by an irrelevant background stimulus. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 28(3), 284-297. https://doi.org/10.1037//0097-7403.28.3.284
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Journal||JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY-ANIMAL BEHAVIOR PROCESSES|
|Publisher||American Psychological Association|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|Keywords||Causality; Judgments; Discrimination|
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