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: 2.38). 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.

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