Allan R Wagner

Allan R Wagner
Yale University | YU · Department of Psychology

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110
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Publications (110)
Article
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The Sometimes Opponent Processes (SOP) model in its original form was especially calculated to address how expected unconditioned stimulus (US) and conditioned stimulus (CS) are rendered less effective than their novel counterparts in Pavlovian conditioning. Its several elaborations embracing the essential notion have extended the scope of the mode...
Article
In a recent series of papers, Pearce and colleagues (e.g., Pearce, Dopson, Haselgrove, & Esber, 2012) have demonstrated a so-called "redundancy effect" in Pavlovian conditioning, which is the finding of more conditioned responding to a redundant cue trained as part of a blocking procedure (A+AX+) than to a redundant cue trained as part of a simple...
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Five experiments involving human causal learning were conducted to compare the cue competition effects known as blocking and unovershadowing, in proactive and retroactive instantiations. Experiment 1 demonstrated reliable proactive blocking and unovershadowing but only retroactive unovershadowing. Experiment 2 replicated the same pattern and showed...
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Two groups of rats were first trained to traverse a runway, one with large and the other with small food rewards. Both groups were then given additional training with small rewards until their performance equalized. In final training, both groups were shifted to the larger rewards. The group with a prior history of large rewards, evidenced savings...
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Rats chronically treated with yeast ribonucleic acid showed enhanced acquisition of an escape response, thus replicating a previously reported effect. The nature of the enhancement, however, as well as the results from a food-rewarded discrimination task, does not suggest that yeast ribonucleic acid improves the learning or memory processes in the...
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Six rabbits were given classical eyelid discrimination training involving “negative patterning,” i.e., the reinforced presentation of two isolable cues, A+ and B+, and the nonreinforced presentation of their compound, AB—. The basis for discriminative responding which was thereby produced was evaluated by additionally reinforcing a third single cue...
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A CER study with rats demonstrated that a series of CS-US pairings, during the compound phase of a “blocking” procedure, may leave the CS with tendencies that are less response suppressive than when the CS is experimentally novel. The results are discussed in the context of prior studies that have reported a loss of CS associability under similar c...
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The effects of a pretrial, priming US were investigated in the context of eyeblink conditioning in the rabbit. The administration of a priming US, 4 or 9 sec prior to a CS-US pairing, facilitated the performance of conditioned responding to the CS but decreased the subsequent evidence of conditioning resulting from the pairing. The results are cong...
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Administering unsignaled USs during daily CER training sessions interfered with CER conditioning, as has frequently been reported. This effect was reduced, however, when additional daily sessions were administered during which Ss were simply exposed to the experimental environment in the absence of the CS and US. The results indicate that S’s treat...
Chapter
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Considerable data from Pavlovian conditioning indicate that events that are associatively signaled by discrete cues are not as effectively processed as they otherwise would be. Extrapolating from early evidence of this phenomenon, especially so-called conditioned diminution of the unconditioned response (CDUR), Wagner (1976, 1979) suggested that a...
Chapter
This article was originally published in the Encyclopedia of Neuroscience published by Elsevier, and the attached copy is provided by Elsevier for the author's benefit and for the benefit of the author's institution, for non-commercial research and educational use including without limitation use in instruction at your institution, sending it to sp...
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The conditioned eyeblink response (CR) in rabbits is lateralized to the eye targeted by the unconditioned stimulus (US). However, a contralateral component has been reported during concurrent discriminative conditioning of the two eyes. The authors investigated CRs produced by both eyes during conditioning with 2 different interstimulus intervals (...
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Considerable research has examined the contrasting predictions of the elemental and configural association theories proposed by Rescorla and Wagner (1972) and Pearce (1987), respectively. One simple method to distinguish between these approaches is the summation test, in which the associative strength attributed to a novel compound of two separatel...
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In Pavlovian eyeblink conditioning, the conditioned response (CR) is highly lateralized to the eye to which the unconditioned stimulus (US) has been directed. However, the initial conditioning of one eye can facilitate subsequent conditioning of the other eye, a phenomenon known as the intereye transfer (IET) effect. Because a conditioned emotional...
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Kenneth W. Spence was among the most influential learning theorists of the 20th century. He was not only a pioneer in the genesis of computational models but an articulate systematist and scholar regarding the place of theory in psychology. The following observations and remembrances were offered at the University of Iowa as part of a tribute to hi...
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Kenneth Spence (1936, 1937) formalized a quantitative, elemental approach to association theory that has had a broad and dominating influence on learning theory for many years. A set of challenges to the basic approach has spurred the subsequent evolution of elemental theory in various ways. Four of the challenges and some resulting theoretical acc...
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The paper by Melchers, Shanks, and Lachnit (2007) reviews the available evidence suggesting that there is flexible processing, such that some associative learning tasks can be solved either configurally or elementally. We find the evidence provocative but limited in its demonstrated generality and silent with respect to the theoretical mechanisms t...
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Despite of the apparent simplicity of Pavlovian conditioning, research on its mechanisms has caused considerable debate, such as the dispute about whether the associated stimuli are coded in an "elementistic"(a compound stimuli is equivalent to the sum of its components) or a "configural" (a compound stimuli is a unique exemplar) fashion. This cont...
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Development of a computer program to simulate the predictions of the replaced elements model of Pavlovian conditioning. Despite of the apparent simplicity of Pavlovian conditioning, research on its mechanisms has caused considerable debate, such as the dispute about whether the associated stimuli are coded in an << elementistic >> (a compound stimu...
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A series of experiments evaluated whether the habituation of the startle response of the rat to tactile and auditory cues is stimulus specific. Experiment 1 showed stimulus specificity of a short-term habituation effect, whereby the startle to the second of a pair of stimuli was significantly less when the initial stimulus involved the same rather...
Article
THE SOP MODEL [INFORMATION PROCESSING IN ANIMALS: Memory Mechanisms, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, 1981, p. 5] is described in terms of its assumed stimulus representation, network characteristics, and rules for learning and performance. It is shown how several Pavlovian conditioning phenomena can be accounted on the basis of the model's presumed stimulu...
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The componential extension of SOP accounts for conditioned response (CR) timing in Pavlovian conditioning by assuming that learning accrues with relative independence to stimulus elements that are differentially occasioned during the duration of the conditioned stimulus (CS). SOP, using a competitive learning rule and the assumption that temporal l...
Article
The SOP model [Information Processing in Animals: Memory Mechanisms, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, 1981, p. 5] is described in terms of its assumed stimulus representation, network characteristics, and rules for learning and performance. It is shown how several Pavlovian conditioning phenomena can be accounted on the basis of the model’s presumed stimulu...
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My theories of associative learning, like those of N. J. Mackintosh and almost all learning theorists, have employed elemental representations of the stimuli involved. We must take notice when two important contributors to elemental theory, J. M. Pearce and W. K. Estes, find sufficient problems with the theory type to cause them to defect from it....
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Computational theories of classical conditioning are theories whose propositions are stated as mathematical relationships. From such propositions one can compute, that is to say, deduce, presumed consequences for conditioned responding in circumstances addressed by the theory. This chapter is an attempt to roughly categorize and briefly summarize t...
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In two experiments, we examined two related conditioning problems previously investigated by Red-head and Pearce (1995a) and Pearce, Aydin, and Redhead (1997). Experiment 1 involved an A+, B+, C+, AB+, AC+, BC+, ABC2 discrimination. The Rescorla-Wagner model predicts that response to AB, AC, and BC will be greater than that to A, B, and C at asympt...
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This paper describes three theoretical approaches to the representation of configural cues in generalization and discrimination in Pavlovian conditioning: that of the Rescorla-Wagner model, the Pearce model, and the authors' 'replaced elements' model. We summarize the results of a generalization experiment using the rabbit Pavlovian conditioned eye...
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This paper describes a transducer that allows for the concurrent recording of outer eyelid closure on both the left and the right eyes of a rabbit. The device makes use of voltage induced across a current-carrying conductor when the conductor is exposed to a magnetic field perpendicular to its axis (the Hall effect). The transducer is relatively co...
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Three experiments were conducted to ask if conditioned emotional responses (CERs) controlled by contextual cues modulate the acquisition of eyelid conditioned responses (CRs) to discrete conditioned stimuli (CSs). Experiment 1 showed that 30-s auditory stimuli that were paired with aversive shocks to one paraorbital region or the other controlled d...
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Two experiments of Pavlovian conditioning with rabbits evaluated the effects of initiating or continuing a conditioned stimulus (CS) after a paraorbital unconditioned stimulus (US). In Experiment 1, backward pairings, in which a CS came on after the US, produced a CS that appeared inhibitory on a measure of eyeblink conditioning but excitatory on a...
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Two experiments with rabbits investigated the concordance of two measures of conditioning, eyeblink and potentiated startle, during a blocking sequence with paraorbital shock reinforcement. In both, a shift in the locus of shock from one eye to the other between the conditioning of an element and a compound of that element and a new cue had differe...
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Four experiments are reported that demonstrate discriminated lateralized eyeblink conditioning in rabbits and show how the phenomenon may be used to differentiate between the reflexive and emotive consequences of Pavlovian conditioning. Experiments 1, 2, and 3 characterized how 2 conditioned stimuli (CSs), contemporaneously trained with left vs. ri...
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Three experiments showed the modulation of a rabbit eyeblink conditioned response (CR) to a Pavlovian conditioned stimulus (CS) by 30-s stimuli (A & B) that had been differentially paired with paraorbital shock. The CS (Y) was a 1,050-ms cue that had been paired with paraorbital shock outside A or B. In testing, the amplitude of CRs was greater whe...
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Two experiments with rabbits showed that the differential modulation of a conditioned eyeblink response (CR) by 30-s auditory stimuli previously paired with shock was independent of the locus of shock application. In Experiment 1, the modulation occurred when the CR was trained with paraorbital shock and the 30-s stimuli were trained with either hi...
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Four experiments showed differential modulation of defensive unconditioned responses (URs) in rabbits by contextual stimuli that Brandon and Wagner (1991) have shown similarly to modulate conditioned eyeblink responses. Two 30-s auditory cues, A and B, were differentially paired with shock. Tests were presentations of a response-eliciting probe sti...
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This chapter presents an introductory-level description of the sometimes opponent process (SOP), which is an abstract model of animal learning and performance that was developed in an attempt to integrate conceptually the principal behavioral regularities of Pavlovian conditioning, emphasizing the essence of its propositions and some of the fundame...
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A context-like conditioned stimulus (CS) previously paired with a food unconditioned stimulus (US) enhanced both food-related activity and insulin secretion in rats. Experiment 1 documented the effectiveness of an appetitive conditioning procedure in which a 10 sec visual CS ("x") was followed by food when embedded within one 35 sec auditory CS ("A...
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explicate the evolution of a theory of Pavlovian conditioning [SOP] / concentrate . . . on how it attempts to capture, in abstract formulation, what might be entertained to be the basic episodic . . . processes responsible for the acquisition and performance of conditioned responding the working version of the theory that is the subject of our cu...
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Four experiments were concerned with the development in rats of context-specific tolerance to the sedating and analgesic effects of morphine. Experiment 1 was conducted to assess the temporal course of activity changes and analgesia consequent to acute morphine administration. Experiments 2, 3, and 4 were conducted to assess the development of cont...
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Two experiments, using a conditioned emotional response (CER) procedure, investigated the associative consequences of an isolated feature of massed versus spaced schedules of Pavlovian conditioning. Ss were 24 male albino rats. In each experiment, comparisons were arranged between 2 conditioned stimulus/stimuli (CS) that were separately trained in...
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The associative effects of “backward” US-CS pairings were compared when the pairing occasions were either consistently preceded by a well-trained CS+ or were unannounced. The investigation employed a conditioned emotional response procedure with rats, under conditions in which all subjects received the same schedule of shock USs, some signaled and...
Chapter
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Invertebrates offer many opportunities to study several of the fundamental questions about learning posed by experimental psychology, ethology, and neurobiology. Invertebrates range in neurological complexity from jellyfish and primitive worms to insects, crustaceans, and cephalopods. Comparative learning studies should help us decide whether learn...
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Two experiments employing a conditioned emotional response procedure with rats evaluated the associative tendencies acquired by a target CS when a compound of that stimulus and another CS was reinforced by a low-intensity US whereas the latter CS alone was reinforced by a higher intensity US. Experiment 1 involved a blocking sequence in which the e...
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Evidence of "overshadowing" following a single training trial was obtained in each of five experiments measuring stimulus-evoked suppression of licking in rats. In three conditioned emotional response experiments, less conditioned suppression was observed to either a light or a tone when the stimuli had been paired with shock in compound that when...
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The effect of serial position was examined in a study of habituation of the vasoconstrictive orienting response in rabbits. In a procedure analogous to a recognition memory test, subjects received multiple exposures to an invariant list of stimuli before their response was assessed to an isolated item that had consistently occupied either the first...
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Sensory preconditioning was demonstrated in 2 experiments, one using 32 male Charles River rats in a conditioned-emotional-response paradigm, the other using 48 male New Zealand rabbits in a heart-rate conditioning situation. In each case Ss were initially trained with 2 pairs of potential CSs: Stimulus (St) 1 paired with St 2, St 3 paired with St...
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Gray and Appignanesi reported that conditioning to an element of a compound conditioned stimulus (CS) was facilitated when the compound not only preceded the unconditioned stimulus (US) but was briefly reinstated shortly after US termination. The manipulation was embedded in a "blocking" design, and the effect was interpreted as being peculiar to s...
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Conditioned responding to a well-trained conditioned stimulus (CS) was assessed in an eyelid conditioning situation under three conditions of prior stimulation: when preceded by recent presentation of the same CS, when preceded by recent presentation of a different CS, and when preceded by no recent stimulation. As compared to the latter condition,...
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Rabbits were trained in eyelid conditioning with a “backward” arrangement of unconditioned stimulus (UCS) followed by conditioned stimulus (CS). When such a CS was tested alone it was observed to produce substantial conditioned responding if the UCS had been arranged to be “surprising” during the backward pairings, but not if it had been arranged t...
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Rabbits were trained via a Pavlovian eyelid-conditioning regime to respond differentially to a conditioned stimulus (CSR) depending on whether or not that stimulus was preceded several seconds earlier by a preparatory stimulus consisting of an electric shock otherwise employed as an unconditioned stimulus (UCS). Following training, differential res...
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Studied 108 experimentally naive male albino Charles River rats. When saccharin or a light-tone compound was followed by electric shock, an acquired aversion could be demonstrated to either cue. However, the optimal interval between conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (UCS) was strikingly different in the 2 cases: with a light-tone...
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Investigated response to an element, X, of a stimulus compound, AX, which signaled the availability of reward, in 4 experiments with male albino rats (N = 45). "Blocking" of the acquisition of responding to X was produced in each case for some groups by separately training A alone as a signal for reward. The principal issue was whether or not block...
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Hypothesized that, in 5 eyelid-conditioning experiments with a total of 166 male albino New Zealand rabbits, a surprising episode which should itself command rehearsal should also interfere with the rehearsal and learning about other contemporaneous training episodes. In Exp. I and II, it was demonstrated that conditioned responding produced by a s...
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The effects of nonreinforced, preconditioning exposures to a CS were investigated in two experiments involving Pavlovian eyelid conditioning in the rabbit. Experiment 1 replicated the often-reported consequent retardation in appearance of conditioned responding, or “latent inhibition effect” (e.g.,Lubow & Moore, 1959;Siegel, 1969). Experiment 2 emp...
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Trained 6 male albino New Zealand rabbits in classical eyelid discrimination involving negative patterning, i.e., reinforced presentation of 2 isolable cues, A+ and B+, and nonreinforced presentation of their compound, AB-. The basis for discriminative responding which was thereby produced was evaluated by additionally reinforcing a 1/3 single cue,...
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This chapter presents the data which support the contention that stimulus selection is a potent effect, even in experimental situations that allow considerable control over the schedules of stimulation and reinforcement to which S is exposed. Yet, it is questioned whether or not such data demand an “attentional” interpretation. A theoretical altern...
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sought to elucidate the conditions under which a conditioned diminution of the UR [unconditioned response] is more or less likely to occur / formulate a theoretical model, embracing the apparent regularities, that can guide extrapolation review the available literature on the conditioned modulation of the UR, as well as certain related phenomena,...
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Exp. I, with 72 male albino rats, 350 exposures to tones, which gradually increased 85-115 db. in 5-db steps, produced as much habituation of the startle response in rats to subsequent 120-db tones as did 350 exposures to the 120-db tone itself. In Exp. II, with 48 Ss, 2750 exposures to tones, which gradually increased 83-118 db. in 2.5-db steps, p...
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The likelihood of startle response to different intensities of tone (96, 102, 108, 114, and 120 db.) was evaluated in 48 male albino Sprague-Dawley rats, before and after a series of exposures to either 108- or 120-db tones. Responsiveness following habituation was less at each test intensity for Ss exposed to 120-, as compared to 108-db tones. The...
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REPORTS 3 EXPERIMENTS, INVOLVING BOTH INSTRUMENTAL AND CLASSICAL CONDITIONING PROCEDURES IN RATS AND RABBITS. IN EACH CASE A PARTIALLY REINFORCED CUE WAS FOUND TO BE A LESS EFFECTIVE STIMULUS IN ISOLATION WHEN IT HAD BEEN EXPERIENCED AS A COMMON CUE IN COMPOUNDS CONTAINING ELEMENTS MORE HIGHLY CORRELATED WITH REINFORCEMENT, THAN WHEN IT HAD BEEN EX...
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OBSERVATIONS ON 3 DOGS SUBJECTED TO A CLASSICAL CONDITIONING REGIME, EMPLOYING ELECTRICAL STIMULATION OF THE CORTEX AS THE UCS, AND ON 2 DOGS FOR WHICH THE OCCURRENCE OF THE SAME UCS, EITHER ALONE OR FOLLOWING A CS, WAS MADE CONTINGENT UPON PANEL PRESSING, SUGGEST THAT THE MODIFICATION OF SKELETAL BEHAVIOR WHICH OCCURS DURING CLASSICAL CONDITIONING...
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EXTINCTION OF CONDITIONED FEAR FOLLOWING PARTIAL AND CONTINUOUS REINFORCEMENT SCHEDULES WAS EVALUATED IN 2 EXPERIMENTS WITH RATS. NO PARTIAL REINFORCEMENT EFFECT (PRE) WAS OBSERVED IN EXP. 1 WITH A STARTLE-RESPONSE MEASURE OR IN EXP. 2 WITH A RESPONSE-SUPPRESSION (CONDITIONED EMOTIONAL RESPONSE-CER) MEASURE, WHEN FEAR CONDITIONING WAS SEPARATED FRO...
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"Learned behavior has been reported to be transferred as a result of injecting RNA-containing fractions from the brains of trained rats (donors) into untrained rats (recipients)… . In 18 experiments no clear evidence of a transfer of any of these kinds of training from trained donors to recipients was found." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA,...
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Extinction of a classically conditioned salivary response in dogs was investigated in relation to different magnitudes of food US and to different percentages of food-reinforced trials during acquisition. The larger magnitudes and percentages were followed by persistently greater conditioned salivation on the 1st trials of extinction days as well a...
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3 groups of 30 rats were trained in a simple runway. During acquisition Group N was exposed to nonreinforcement on a 50% reward schedule, Group P was exposed to gradually increasing punishment along with consistent food reward, while Group C was never punished or nonreinforced. Half of each group was then tested for the decremental effects of eithe...
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2 groups of 10 rabbits received classical, eyelid conditioning and extinction training. 1 group was given 220 acquisition trials and reinforced 100% of the time. A 2nd group was given 440 acquisition trials and reinforced 50% of the time. Partial reinforcement produced a decrement in acquisition performance, but no greater resistance to extinction...
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An interpretation of the effects of overtraining on resistance to extinction, in terms of differences in frustration, is called into question by the extinction behavior of Ss trained or overtrained with different schedules of reinforcement.