Document Detail

Acquisition of superexcitatory properties by an irrelevant background stimulus.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12136704     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
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.
Douglas A Williams; Rick Mehta; Tracy M Poworoznyk; Jane S Orihel; David N George; John M Pearce
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of experimental psychology. Animal behavior processes     Volume:  28     ISSN:  0097-7403     ISO Abbreviation:  J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process     Publication Date:  2002 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-07-24     Completed Date:  2003-01-23     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7504289     Medline TA:  J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  284-97     Citation Subset:  IM    
Psychology Department, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2E9, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Appetitive Behavior*
Discrimination (Psychology)
Models, Biological
Perceptual Masking
Random Allocation
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Reinforcement (Psychology)
Retention (Psychology)

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