Stimulus and temporal cues in classical conditioning.

Department of Psychology, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA.
Journal of Experimental Psychology Animal Behavior Processes (Impact Factor: 1.76). 05/2000; 26(2):206-19. DOI: 10.1037/0097-7403.26.2.206
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In 2 experiments, separate groups of rats were given stimulus conditioning, temporal conditioning, untreated control and (in Experiment 2) learned irrelevance control procedures, followed by a compound with both stimulus and temporal cues. Stimulus conditioning consisted of a random 15-s duration conditioned stimulus (CS) followed by food; temporal conditioning consisted of food-food intervals of fixed 90 s (Experiment 1) or fixed 75 + random 15 s (Experiment 2). The stimulus group abruptly increased responding after CS onset, and the temporal group gradually increased responding over the food-food interval. When the food-food interval was fixed 90 s, the temporal cue exerted stronger control in the compound, whereas when the food-food interval was fixed 75 + random 15 s, the stimulus cue exerted stronger control. The strength of conditioning, temporal gradients of responding, and cue competition effects appear to reflect simultaneous timing of multiple intervals.

Download full-text


Available from: Kimberly Kirkpatrick, Jun 28, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Most studies in the neurobiology of learning assume that the underlying learning process is a pairing -dependent change in synaptic strength that requires repeated experience of events presented in close temporal contiguity. However, much learning is rapid and does not depend on temporal contiguity which has never been precisely defined. These points are well illustrated by studies showing that temporal relationships between events are rapidly learned- even over long delays- and this knowledge governs the form and timing of behavior. The speed with which anticipatory responses emerge in conditioning paradigms is determined by the information that cues provide about the timing of rewards. The challenge for understanding the neurobiology of learning is to understand the mechanisms in the nervous system that encode information from even a single experience, the nature of the memory mechanisms that can encode quantities such as time, and how the brain can flexibly perform computations based on this information.
    Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 12/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.nlm.2013.11.019 · 4.04 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Involvement of the dorsal hippocampus (DHPC) in conditioned-response timing and maintaining temporal information across time gaps was examined in an appetitive Pavlovian conditioning task, in which rats with sham and DHPC lesions were first conditioned to a 15-s visual cue. After acquisition, the subjects received a series of non-reinforced test trials, on which the visual cue was extended (45 s) and gaps of different duration, 0.5, 2.5, and 7.5 s, interrupted the early portion of the cue. Dorsal hippocampal-lesioned subjects underestimated the target duration of 15 s and showed broader response distributions than the control subjects on the no-gap trials in the first few blocks of test, but the accuracy and precision of their timing reached the level of that of the control subjects by the last block. On the gap trials, the DHPC-lesioned subjects showed greater rightward shifts in response distributions than the control subjects. We discussed these lesion effects in terms of temporal versus non-temporal processing (response inhibition, generalisation decrement, and inhibitory conditioning).
    Experimental Brain Research 05/2013; 227(4). DOI:10.1007/s00221-013-3530-4 · 2.17 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In four experiments rats were conditioned to an auditory conditioned stimulus (conditioned stimulus; CS) that was paired with food, and learning about the CS was compared across two conditions in which the mean duration of the CS was equated. In one, the CS was of a single, fixed duration on every trial, and in the other the CS duration was drawn from an exponential distribution, and hence changed from trial to trial. Higher rates of conditioned responding to the fixed than to the variable stimulus were observed, in both between- (Experiment 1) and within-subject designs (Experiments 2 and 3). Moreover, this difference was maintained when stimuli trained with fixed or variable durations were tested under identical conditions (i.e., with equal numbers of fixed and variable duration trials)-suggesting that the difference could not be attributed to performance effects (Experiment 3). In order to estimate the speed of acquisition of conditioned responding, the scaled cumulative distribution of a Weibull function was fitted to the trial-by-trial response rates for each rat. In the within-subject experiments specific differences in the pattern of acquisition to fixed and variable CS were shown; a somewhat different pattern was found when intertrial interval (ITI) was manipulated (Experiment 4). The implications of these findings for theories of conditioning and timing are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Experimental Psychology Animal Behavior Processes 04/2013; 39(3). DOI:10.1037/a0032151 · 1.76 Impact Factor