Document Detail

Extinguished operant responding shows stimulus specificity.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14998658     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The experiment tested for stimulus specificity in extinguished operant responding. Eight pigeons pecked keys for food reinforcers delivered by a variable interval (VI) 60-s schedule. The key was illuminated with red light during some sessions and white light during others. Then, responding was placed on extinction. During some sessions of extinction, the color of the key light remained constant throughout the session (red or white). During other sessions the color changed at 30 min into the session (red to white or white to red). Response rate increased after the change of key color in extinction. If it is assumed that key color is part of the stimulus to which subjects habituate, then these results are consistent with McSweeney and Swindell's [J. Gen. Psychol. 129 (2002) 364] suggestion that responding declines in extinction partly because subjects habituate to the stimuli that support conditioned responding. Habituation is relatively specific to the exact nature of the stimulus presented. Therefore, changes in the stimulus violate stimulus specificity and restore habituated responding. The results are also consistent with other theories that attribute extinction to a reduction of stimulus control [e.g., Psychol. Bull. 114 (1993) 80; J. Exp. Psychol.: Anim. Behav. Process. 16 (1990) 235], but considerations such as parsimony and testability favor the habituation hypothesis over these theories.
Frances K McSweeney; Eric S Murphy; Benjamin P Kowal
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Behavioural processes     Volume:  65     ISSN:  0376-6357     ISO Abbreviation:  Behav. Processes     Publication Date:  2004 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-10-13     Completed Date:  2005-11-22     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7703854     Medline TA:  Behav Processes     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  211-20     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4820, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Behavior, Animal
Conditioning, Operant*
Extinction, Psychological*
Habituation, Psychophysiologic
Reaction Time
Reinforcement (Psychology)
Grant Support

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