Document Detail

Control of myoelectrical responses through reinforcement.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  4067496     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A classic experiment by Hefferline, Keenan, and Harford (1959) showed that small thumb-twitches, imperceptible to the subject, can be controlled by the consequences of terminating and/or postponing aversive noise. These findings were further investigated in three experiments reported here. Experiment 1 replicated the original study. Experiment 2 was a control study in which stimulus changes were presented as in Experiment 1, but independently of the responses. Under these conditions the response rate varied over a large range with no systematic relation to experimental events. The increments in response rate reported by Hefferline et al. were within the present range of variation, suggesting that conditioning in the earlier study may have reflected a consistency in the direction of change rather than an increase in rate beyond the baseline range. In the present experiment, however, the rate increase was absolute. In Experiment 3, analog rather than binary changes in stimulus conditions were used as reinforcement. Under these conditions, the rates of subjects whose responses were conditioned fell from 78% (in the previous experiment) to 31%.
L Laurenti-Lions; J Gallego; B Chambille; G Vardon; C Jacquemin
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior     Volume:  44     ISSN:  0022-5002     ISO Abbreviation:  J Exp Anal Behav     Publication Date:  1985 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1986-01-22     Completed Date:  1986-01-22     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0203727     Medline TA:  J Exp Anal Behav     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  185-93     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Acoustic Stimulation
Conditioning, Operant*
Muscle Contraction*
Reinforcement Schedule

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