Anthony Dickinson

Anthony Dickinson
University of Cambridge | Cam · Department of Psychology

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216
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Publications

Publications (216)
Article
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Contemporary theories of instrumental performance assume that responding can be controlled by 2 behavioral systems, 1 goal-directed that encodes the outcome of an action, and 1 habitual that reinforces the response strength of the same action. Here we present a model of free-operant behavior in which goal-directed control is determined by the corre...
Preprint
Contemporary theories of instrumental performance assume that responding can be controlled by two behavioral systems, one goal-directed that encodes the outcome of an action, and one habitual that reinforces the response strength of the same action. Here we present a model of free-operant behavior in which goal-directed control is determined by the...
Article
Full-text available
The higher response rates observed on ratio than on matched interval reward schedules has been attributed to the differential reinforcement of longer inter-response times (IRTs) on the interval contingency. Some data, however, seem to contradict this hypothesis, showing that the difference is still observed when the role of IRT reinforcement is neu...
Preprint
Full-text available
The higher response rates observed on ratio than on matched interval reward schedules has been attributed to the differential reinforcement of longer inter-response times (IRTs) on the interval contingency. Some data, however, seem to contradict this hypothesis, showing that the difference is still observed when the role of IRT reinforcement is neu...
Chapter
Full-text available
Instrumental behavior is controlled by two parallel systems that summate in the control of behavior. One system controls goal-directed action that is based on the interaction of a desire for the outcome of the action (desire criterion) with a belief that the action causes the outcome (belief criterion) through a process of practical inference. The...
Article
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Associative learning theories regard the probability of reinforcement as the critical factor determining responding. However, the role of this factor in instrumental conditioning is not completely clear. In fact, a wealth of evidence from instrumental free-operant experiments has shown that participants respond at a higher rate on variable ratio th...
Article
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This protocol details a free-operant avoidance paradigm that has been developed to evaluate the relative contribution of different sources of reinforcement of avoidance behavior that may play an important role in the development and maintenance of human anxiety disorders. The task enables the assessment of the effects of safety cues that signal a p...
Article
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Safety signals provide "relief" through predicting the absence of an aversive event. At issue is whether these signals also act as instrumental reinforcers. Four experiments were conducted using a free-operant lever-press avoidance paradigm in which each press avoided shock and was followed by the presentation of a 5-sec auditory safety signal. Whe...
Article
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Recent years have seen a rejuvenation of interest in studies of motivation-cognition interactions arising from many different areas of psychology and neuroscience. The present issue of Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience provides a sampling of some of the latest research from a number of these different areas. In this introductory artic...
Article
Full-text available
The associative processes that support free-operant instrumental avoidance behavior are still unknown. We used a revaluation procedure to determine whether the performance of an avoidance response is sensitive to the current value of the aversive, negative reinforcer. Rats were trained on an unsignaled, free-operant lever press avoidance paradigm i...
Chapter
While researchers have assumed that it is not possible to determine the key reactants that cause positive emotional reactions, we argue that experiences, such as watching an entertaining television show or working in a pleasant climate, produce their positive effects through one or more “root causes” of positive emotion. This study identified a cla...
Article
Safety signals (SS) have been shown to reinforce instrumental avoidance behaviour due to their ability to signal the absence of an aversive event; however, little is known of their neural mediation. The present study investigated whether infusions of d-amphetamine in the nucleus accumbens (Nac), previously shown to potentiate responding for appetit...
Article
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Delusions are the persistent and often bizarre beliefs that characterise psychosis. Previous studies have suggested that their emergence may be explained by disturbances in prediction error-dependent learning. Here we set up complementary studies in order to examine whether such a disturbance also modulates memory reconsolidation and hence explains...
Article
Free-operant wheel-turn avoidance performance of rats with septal lesions and controls was studied in detail. Septal damage decreased the overall response and shock rates and the vigor of the “burst” pattern of responding. Both groups of rats were then given a series of Pavlovian conditioning trials in a separate apparatus. During these sessions, a...
Article
Full-text available
Rationale Safety signals providing relief are hypothesised to possess conditioned reinforcing properties, supporting the acquisition of a new response (AnR) as seen with appetitive stimuli. Such responding should also be sensitive to the rate-increasing effects of d-amphetamine and to the anxiolytics 8-OH-DPAT and diazepam. Objectives This study te...
Article
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Studies of incongruent discrimination learning, where the outcome event of one response acts as the discriminative stimulus for the opposite response, suggest that humans rely on habitual stimulus-response (S-R) associations when outcome-response (O-R) associations would cause response conflict. Here, two experiments were conducted to investigate t...
Article
Full-text available
Argues that the goal-directed actions of the rat are mediated by intentional representations of the causal relationship between action and outcome and of the value assigned to the outcome. Evidence is offered in support of the claim. First, the instrumental actions of the rat are shown to be sensitive both to the current value of the outcome and to...
Article
The associative sequence learning (ASL) hypothesis suggests that sensorimotor experience plays an inductive role in the development of the mirror neuron system, and that it can play this crucial role because its effects are mediated by learning that is sensitive to both contingency and contiguity. The Hebbian hypothesis proposes that sensorimotor e...
Article
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Associative learning plays a variety of roles in the study of animal cognition from a core theoretical component to a null hypothesis against which the contribution of cognitive processes is assessed. Two developments in contemporary associative learning have enhanced its relevance to animal cognition. The first concerns the role of associatively a...
Article
Automatic imitation-the unintended copying of observed actions-is thought to be a behavioral product of the mirror neuron system (MNS). Evidence that the MNS develops through associative learning comes from previous research showing that automatic imitation is attenuated by countermirror training, in which the observation of one action is paired co...
Chapter
Full-text available
A distinction is drawn between two forms of prospective behavior, goal-directed behavior and future planning, in terms of the motivational relevance of the goal or outcome of the behavior. Goal-directed behavior is relevant to the animal's current motivational state, whereas future planning refers to action taken in the service of future needs. Two...
Article
Previous studies failed to find evidence for rational action selection in children under 2 years of age. The current study investigated whether younger children required more training to encode the relevant causal relationships. Children between 1½ and 3 years of age were trained over two sessions to perform actions on a touch-sensitive screen to o...
Article
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This study presents the first direct investigation of the hypothesis that dopamine depletion of the dorsal striatum in mild Parkinson disease leads to impaired stimulus-response habit formation, thereby rendering behavior slow and effortful. However, using an instrumental conflict task, we show that patients are able to rely on direct stimulus-resp...
Article
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Preschool children (3-4 years old) were trained to perform two actions to gain different outcomes, in the form of video clips from different cartoons, before one of these outcomes was devalued by noncontingent exposure. The effect of outcome devaluation was subsequently assessed in an extinction test by giving children the opportunity to perform bo...
Article
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Despite the fact that the role of learning is recognised in empirical and theoretical work on sense of agency (SoA), the nature of this learning has, rather surprisingly, received little attention. In the present study we consider the contribution of associative mechanisms to SoA. SoA can be measured quantitatively as a temporal linkage between vol...
Article
It is well known that stress is a significant risk factor for the development of drug addiction and addiction relapse. Remarkably, the cognitive processes involved in the effects of stress on addictive behavior remain poorly understood. Here it is proposed that stress-induced changes in the neural circuits controlling instrumental action provide a...
Article
The papers published in this Special Issue are based upon presentations at a workshop on “Associative Learning and Representation”, which was sponsored by the Experimental Psychology Society and hosted by Emmanuel College, Cambridge. The workshop celebrated the contribution of Professor Nicholas Mackintosh to animal learning and conditioning in par...
Article
The associative sequence learning model proposes that the development of the mirror system depends on the same mechanisms of associative learning that mediate Pavlovian and instrumental conditioning. To test this model, two experiments used the reduction of automatic imitation through incompatible sensorimotor training to assess whether mirror syst...
Article
Full-text available
In two experiments hungry rats received extensive training to lever press for food outcomes before one outcome was devalued by aversion conditioning and responding tested in extinction. If the rats were trained on a concurrent schedule in which two responses yielded different outcomes, performance during the extinction test was reduced by devaluati...
Article
Different groups of rats received different amounts of training to lever press for a food reinforcer before an aversion was conditioned to the food. This devaluation of the reinforcer reduced responding in both subsequent extinction and reinforced tests of responding to a degree that was independent of the amount of instrumental training. Moreover,...
Chapter
Full-text available
Selective attention is an amalgamation of processing systems geared to select different classes of information to optimize the agent’s transaction with the environment. Within selective attention, subsystems can be distinguished that select different types of stimuli. The clearest example of this can be found in perceptual psychophysics, where it h...
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
When applying for the editorship of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, I was asked for my "vision" for the Journal, which I have outlined here as an inaugural editorial. My vision is in essence conservative in that I shall take the core of my brief to be that of maintaining the conception of the Journal established b...
Article
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Drug cues play an important role in motivating human drug taking, lapse and relapse, but the psychological basis of this effect has not been fully specified. To clarify these mechanisms, the study measured the extent to which pictorial and conditioned tobacco cues enhanced smoking topography in an ad libitum smoking session simultaneously with cue...
Article
Full-text available
According to dual-system accounts, instrumental learning is supported by both a goal-directed and a habitual system. Although behavioral control by the goal-directed system, through outcome-action associations, dominates with moderate training, stimulus-response associations are thought to form concurrently in the habit system. It is therefore chal...
Article
The potential role of the prelimbic cortex of the rat in the acquisition of instrumental responding is currently uncertain. In addition, modeling the acquisition of Pavlovian and spatial conditioning tasks has suggested that the process of acquisition can, for certain forms of learning, be step like and consequently misrepresented in averaged group...
Article
In the first experiment, we demonstrated evaluative conditioning using a novel across-modality procedure in which pictorial abstract brand logos acted as conditioned stimulus (CSs) and self-selected foods of different hedonic valence functioned as unconditioned stimuli (USs). We then investigated whether this form of learning of likes discriminates...
Article
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According to O-R theory of instrumental learning, incongruent biconditional discriminations should be impossible to solve in a goal-directed manner because the event acting as the outcome of one response also acts as a discriminative stimulus for an opposite response. Each event should therefore be associated with two competing responses. However,...
Article
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Associative accounts of goal-directed action, developed in the fields of human ideomotor action and that of animal learning, can capture cognitive belief-desire psychology of human decision-making. Whereas outcome-response accounts can account for the fact that the thought of a goal can call to mind the action that has previously procured this goal...
Article
In his presentation of the propositional account of associative learning, De Houwer (2009) argues that association formation models (AFMs) assume excitatory link representations and automatic learning processes. However, the application of AFMs to human causal and contingency learning has assumed propositional forms of representation, although exci...
Article
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It is commonly thought that attentional bias for drug cues plays an important role in motivating human drug-seeking behavior. To assess this claim, two groups of smokers were trained in a discrimination task in which a tobacco-seeking response was rewarded only in the presence of 1 particular stimulus (the S+). The key manipulation was that whereas...
Article
A stimulus, by virtue of its pairing with a rewarding or an aversive outcome, can acquire motivating properties reflecting that outcome. However, there is uncertainty concerning the extent to which such properties might be carried across contexts. In the current study we sought to determine whether conditioning-dependent motivational properties can...
Article
Although psychologists study both the objective (behavior) and the subjective (phenomenology) components of cognition, we argue that an overemphasis on the subjective drives a wedge between psychology and other closely related scientific disciplines, such as comparative studies of cognition and artificial intelligence. This wedge is particularly ap...
Article
Until recently there was little evidence that animals other than humans could remember their past, in part because episodic memory is typically defined in terms of reexperiencing the past. This phenomenological definition makes it impossible to test for episodic memory in animals in the absence of agreed nonlinguistic behavioral markers of such con...
Article
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Three localized, visual pattern stimuli were trained as predictive signals of auditory outcomes. One signal partially predicted an aversive noise in Experiment 1 and a neutral tone in Experiment 2, whereas the other signals consistently predicted either the occurrence or absence of the noise. The expectation of the noise was measured during each si...
Article
In this review we discuss the evidence that drug addiction, defined as a maladaptive compulsive habit, results from the progressive subversion by addictive drugs of striatum-dependent operant and Pavlovian learning mechanisms that are usually involved in the control over behaviour by stimuli associated with natural reinforcement. Although mainly or...
Article
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Rationale The attentional bias for drug cues is believed to be a causal cognitive process mediating human drug seeking and relapse. Objectives, methods and results To test this claim, we trained smokers on a tobacco conditioning procedure in which the conditioned stimulus (or S+) acquired parallel control of an attentional bias (measured with an ey...
Article
Monkeys received discrimination training in which the choice of either a simultaneous or a serial compound of two visual images was rewarded before we assessed the monkeys' conditioned preference for one of the images from the compound. This preference was reduced or blocked if the other image had been associated with reward rather than nonreward p...
Article
Full-text available
To determine the role of action-outcome learning in the control of young children's instrumental behavior, the authors trained 18- to 48-month-olds to manipulate visual icons on a touch-sensitive display to obtain different types of video clips as outcomes. Subsequently, one of the outcomes was devalued by repeated exposure, and children's propensi...
Article
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Western scrub-jays (Aphelocoma californica) did not show extinction when caching behavior was never rewarded and they had no choice of where to cache the food. However, when the jays had the choice of caching items in 2 different locations or during 2 successive episodes, and only 1 of each was always rewarded at recovery, they rapidly learned to c...
Article
Full-text available
Human drug seeking may be goal directed in the sense that it is mediated by a mental representation of the drug or habitual in the sense that it is elicited by drug-paired cues directly. To test these 2 accounts, the authors assessed whether a drug-paired stimulus (S+) would transfer control to an independently trained drug-seeking response. Smoker...
Article
Full-text available
Delusions are maladaptive beliefs about the world. Based upon experimental evidence that prediction error-a mismatch between expectancy and outcome--drives belief formation, this study examined the possibility that delusions form because of disrupted prediction--error processing. We used fMRI to determine prediction-error-related brain responses in...
Article
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Abstinence from drug occurs in human addicts for several reasons, including the avoidance of adverse consequences. To explore a model of drug use in the face of adverse consequences in rats through intermittent punishment of drug seeking and to investigate whether the ability to withhold seeking responses depends upon the duration of drug history....
Article
Although the mental time travel (MTT) hypothesis provides a rich, conceptual framework, the absence of clear, empirically tractable, behavioural criteria for determining the capacity for MTT restricts its usefulness in comparative research. Examples of empirical criteria for evaluating MTT in animals are given. We also question the authors' evaluat...
Article
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Planning for the future has been considered to be a uniquely human trait [1-3]. However, recent studies challenge this hypothesis by showing that food-caching Western scrub-jays (Aphelocoma californica) can relate their previous experience as thieves to the possibility of future cache theft by another bird [4], are sensitive to the state of their c...
Article
Four experiments investigated the processes by which a motivationally-induced change in the value of the training reinforcer affects instrumental performance. Initially, thirsty rats were trained to lever press for either a sodium or non-sodium solution. In Experiment I sodium-trained rats responded faster in extinction following the induction of a...
Article
Four groups of rats received conditioned suppression training in which a tone and light compound was reinforced with shock. If the light had been previously paired with free food, enhanced fear conditioning accrued to the tone during compound training relative to control groups pre-exposed to the light alone, the light semi-randomly associated with...
Article
Full-text available
Instrumental conditioning is considered to involve at least two distinct learning systems: a goal-directed system that learns associations between responses and the incentive value of outcomes, and a habit system that learns associations between stimuli and responses without any link to the outcome that that response engendered. Lesion studies in r...
Article
In two experiments, participants inspected and drank a series of drinks, half of which contained sugarand half unpalatable Tween20 (tween). Each sugar and tween drink had a particular flavor and color. Following this training, the flavors of the sugar drinks were assigned higher hedonicevaluations than were those of thetween drinks, even though the...
Article
Knowledge of and planning for the future is a complex skill that is considered by many to be uniquely human. We are not born with it; children develop a sense of the future at around the age of two and some planning ability by only the age of four to five. According to the Bischof-Köhler hypothesis, only humans can dissociate themselves from their...
Article
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The associative structure mediating goal-directed action was investigated using congruent and incongruent conditional discriminations. The stimulus was the same as the outcome in each component of the congruent discriminations, whereas the stimulus of one component of the incongruent discriminations was the same as the outcome of the other componen...
Chapter
This part presents four chapters on the concept of learning. The first chapter argues that learning is a pre-theoretical, possibly even a pre-scientific, concept. The second discusses three concepts that are central to more than one theory: associative strength, associability, and prediction error. The third focuses on challenges in linking the pri...
Article
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Many forms of human conditioned behaviour depend upon explicit knowledge of the predictive contingency between stimuli, responses and the reinforcer. However, it remains uncertain whether the conditioning of three key behaviours in drug addiction-selective attention, instrumental drug-seeking behaviour and emotional state--are dependent upon contin...
Article
Full-text available
Establishing a neurobiological account of delusion formation that links cognitive processes, brain activity, and symptoms is important to furthering our understanding of psychosis. To explore a theoretical model of delusion formation that implicates prediction error-dependent associative learning processes in a pharmacological functional magnetic r...