Ralph Miller

Ralph Miller
Binghamton University | SUNY Binghamton · Department of Psychology

About

381
Publications
48,804
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13,692
Citations
Citations since 2016
40 Research Items
3330 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600

Publications

Publications (381)
Article
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La conducta tiende generalmente a ser funcional. A menudo, algunas conductas desadaptativas específicas pueden entenderse en términos de contingencias de reforzamiento prevalentes que son opuestas a las contingencias de reforzamiento previamente experimentadas por el individuo o por los ancestros de ese individuo, y que tienen una persistente influ...
Article
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In a signal detection theory approach to associative learning, the perceived (i.e., subjective) contingency between a cue and an outcome is a random variable drawn from a Gaussian distribution. At the end of the sequence, participants report a positive cue-outcome contingency provided the subjective contingency is above some threshold. Some researc...
Article
The strength of an association between a cue and its outcome is influenced by both the probability of the outcome given the cue and the probability of the outcome in the absence of the cue. Once an association has been formed, extinction is the procedure for reducing responding indicative of the association by repeated presentation of the cue witho...
Article
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Taking a test of previously studied material has been shown to improve long-term subsequent test performance in a large variety of well controlled experiments with both human and nonhuman subjects. This phenomenon is called the testing effect. The promise that this benefit has for the field of education has biased research efforts to focus on appli...
Article
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Blocking (i.e., reduced responding to cue X following YX-outcome pairings in Phase 2 as a consequence of cue Y having been paired with the outcome in Phase 1) is one of the signature phenomena in Pavlovian conditioning. Its discovery promoted the development of multiple associative models, most of which viewed blocking as an instance of pure cue co...
Article
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The statistical relation between two events influences the perception of how one event relates to the presence or absence of another. Interestingly, the simultaneous absence of both events, just like their mutual occurrence, is relevant for describing their contingency. In three experiments, we explored the relevance of coabsent events by varying t...
Article
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The strength of the learned relation between two events, a model for causal perception, has been found to depend on their overall statistical relation, and might be expected to be related to both training trial frequency and trial duration. We report five experiments using a rapid-trial streaming procedure containing Event 1-Event 2 pairings (A tri...
Article
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This review is intended primarily to provide cognitive benchmarks and perhaps a new mindset for behavioral neuroscientists who study memory. Forgetting, defined here broadly as all types of decreases in acquired responding to stimulus-specific eliciting cues, is commonly attributed to one or more of the following families of mechanisms: (1) (4) ass...
Article
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The mere exposure effect (MEE) is defined as repeated exposures to a stimulus enhancing affective evaluations of that stimulus ( Zajonc, 1968 ). The three prominent explanations of the MEE are Zajonc's “neophobia” account, the uncertainty reduction account, and the perceptual fluency approach. Zajonc's “neophobia” account posits that people have an...
Poster
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In learning the contingency between a cue (C) and an outcome (O) is determined by four types of information, combinations between presence and absence of the C and the O. It is reported that the mutual absence of both events is down-weighted perhaps due to its lower physical saliency. Schizotypal individuals show attentional impairments related to...
Preprint
The statistical relation between two events influences the perception of how well one event relates to the presence or absence of another. The simultaneous absence of both events, just like their mutual occurrence, is theoretically relevant for describing their contingency. However, humans tend to weight co-occurring information more heavily than c...
Article
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Following cue-outcome (X-O) pairings, 2 procedures that reduce conditioned responses to X are extinction, in which X is presented by itself, and counterconditioning, in which X is paired with a different outcome typically of valence opposite that of training. Although studies with animals have generally found counterconditioning more efficient than...
Article
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The adaptive memory framework posits that human memory is an evolved cognitive feature, in which stimuli relevant to fitness are better remembered than neutral stimuli. There is now substantial evidence that processing a neutral stimulus in terms of its relevancy to an imagined ancestral survival scenario enhances recall, although there is still di...
Article
Memory for an event is influenced by many factors including retention interval, frequency of assessment, and type of information assessed concerning the event. We examined the usefulness of observer memory for contextual information in assessing accuracy of memory for central information. Participants viewed a video of a purse being stolen and were...
Article
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Visual input of a face appears to influence the ability to selectively attend to one voice over another simultaneous voice. We examined this crossmodal effect, specifically the role face gender may have on selective attention to male and female gendered simultaneous voices. Using a within-subjects design, participants were presented with a dynamic...
Article
Renewal is the recovery of extinguished responding to a conditioned stimulus when testing occurs outside the extinction context. Renewal has been explained as the extinction context becoming a negative occasion setter during extinction. However, other mechanisms may contribute. Two recent studies showed (a) after extinction of a discrete cue, the e...
Article
Conditioned inhibitors have been shown to be largely unaffected by non-reinforced exposure (i.e., extinction treatment). Although excitatory associations are readily diminished by extinction treatment, so-called inhibitory associations appear to be largely immune to them. In two fear-conditioning experiments with rats, it was found that a decrease...
Preprint
The adaptive memory framework posits that the human memory system is an evolved cognitivefeature, in which stimuli relevant to fitness are better remembered than neutral stimuli. There is now substantial evidence that processing a neutral stimulus in terms of its relevancy to an imagined ancestral survival scenario produces enhances recall, althoug...
Article
Full-text available
Deeply rooted within the history of experimental psychology is the search for general laws of learning that hold across tasks and species. Central to this enterprise has been the notion of equipotentiality; that any two events have the same likelihood of being associated with one another as any other pair of events. Much work, generally summarized...
Article
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Exposure to a set of complex stimuli yields an enhanced ability to discriminate between these stimuli. In previous experimental studies, two distinguishable stimuli, X and A, were each repeatedly paired with a common Stimulus B to create compound Stimuli XB and AB. Prior evidence suggests that unique Features X and A form mutually inhibitory associ...
Article
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Destination memory refers to the ability to remember to whom one has sent information (e.g., “did I tell my colleague X or Y about the conference?”, “did I send that email to my colleague X or Y?”). This review describes empirical studies demonstrating how normal aging and neurological disorders compromise destination memory. Centrally, we propose...
Article
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Like all biological systems, human memory is likely to have been influenced by evolutionary processes, and its abilities have been subjected to selective mechanisms. Consequently, human memory should be primed to better remember information relevant to one’s evolutionary fitness. Supporting this view, participants asked to rate words based on their...
Article
Prével and colleagues reported excitatory learning with a backward conditioned stimulus (CS) in a conditioned reinforcement preparation. Their results add to existing evidence of backward CSs sometimes being excitatory and were viewed as challenging the view that learning is driven by prediction error reduction, which assumes that only predictive (...
Article
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This series examines the associative basis of inhibitory perceptual learning. Four experiments demonstrate that inhibitory perceptual learning, like Pavlovian conditioned inhibition, is affected by manipulating the number of training trials. Specifically, many interspersed XB/AB training trials (in which letters represent initially neutral stimuli...
Article
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Mahr & Csibra's (M&C's) proposal that episodic memory has a role in communicative interaction is innovative. However, the model would be strengthened by the inclusion of the construct of destination memory. Destination memory refers to the ability to remember to whom one has sent information. Research has demonstrated that this ability is essential...
Article
This report is part of a larger project examining associative interference as a function of the nature of the interfering and target associations. Lick suppression experiments with rats assessed the effects of context shifts on proactive outcome interference by latent inhibition (LI) and Pavlovian conditioned inhibition (CI) treatments on subsequen...
Chapter
Historically, most approaches to understanding learning and memory phenomena, particularly at the neurobiological level, have emphasized information processing that occurs during or soon after training (i.e., acquisition) as critical for observing learned changes in behavior. However, this view has been challenged by studies showing that at least p...
Article
A basic assumption of most researchers is that behavior is generally functional, and indeed, in most instances the function is obvious. But in a number of cases, some behaviors of neurophysiologically 'normal' organisms appear to be maladaptive. Considerable research has been conducted to understand the basis of such behavior as well as how the fre...
Article
Second-order conditioning (SOC; i.e., conditioned responding to S2 as a result of S1–US pairings followed by S2–S1 pairings) is generally explained by either a direct S2→US association or by an associative chain (i.e., S2→S1→US). Previous research found that differences in responses to S2 after S1 was extinguished often depended on the nature of th...
Article
Introduction: Varenicline reduces smoking satisfaction during the pre-cessation run-in period, which may contribute to extinction of cravings and smoking behavior. Research indicates that efficacy is enhanced when the run-in period is increased from 1 to 4 weeks, providing a longer extinction opportunity. We hypothesized that efficacy could be fur...
Article
Contemporary theories of associative learning are increasingly complex, which necessitates the use of computational methods to reveal predictions of these models. We argue that comparisons across multiple models in terms of goodness of fit to empirical data from experiments often reveal more about the actual mechanisms of learning and behavior than...
Article
The present study demonstrates the contribution of spatial contiguity in the formation of associations between two neutral stimuli. Using human participants, we used visual conditioned stimuli (CSs) in a sensory preconditioning design in which simultaneous CS2-CS1 pairings and CS4-CS3 pairings were interspersed during Phase 1, followed by sequentia...
Article
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Superconditioning refers to supernormal responding to a conditioned stimulus (CS) that sometimes occurs in classical conditioning when the CS is paired with an unconditioned stimulus (US) in the presence of a conditioned inhibitor for that US. In the present research, we conducted 4 experiments to investigate causal superlearning, a phenomenon in h...
Article
Historically, there has been considerable interest in a large variety of forms of associative interference. However, various factors including interest in clinical application and perhaps recent funding priorities have resulted in a narrowed focus on one particular instance of interference, extinction, with relative neglect of other types of interf...
Article
There is a body of research suggesting compromised ability to distinguish between different external sources of information (i.e., external monitoring) in Korsakoff’s syndrome. Here we replicate and extend this literature by assessing the ability of patients with Korsakoff’s syndrome to distinguish between different external sources of information...
Chapter
Historically, most approaches to understanding learning and memory phenomena, particularly at the neurobiological level, have emphasized information processing that occurs during or soon after training (i.e., acquisition) as critical for observing learned changes in behavior. However, this view has been challenged by studies showing that at least p...
Article
Full-text available
Prior studies indicate extinguished fear often partially returns when participants are later tested outside the extinction context. Cues carried from the extinction context to the test context sometimes reduce return of fear, but it is unclear whether such extinction cues (ECs) reduce return of fear of public speaking. Here we assessed return of fe...
Article
Retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF) is the observation that retrieval of target information causes forgetting of related nontarget information. A number of accounts of this phenomenon have been proposed, including a context-shift-based account (Jonker, Seli, & Macleod, 2013). This account proposes that RIF occurs as a result of the context shift fro...
Article
Full-text available
Retrospective revaluation refers to an increase (or decrease) in responding to conditioned stimulus (CS X) as a result of decreasing (or increasing) the associative strength of another CS (A) with respect to the unconditioned stimulus (i.e., A-US) that was previously trained in compound with the target CS (e.g., AX-US or just AX). We discuss the co...
Poster
Attenuating Evaluative Conditioning Effects by Reducing Memory for CSs-USs Associations.
Article
Full-text available
Exposure to a cue alone either before (i.e., latent inhibition treatment) or after (i.e., extinction) the cue is paired with an unconditioned stimulus results in attenuated conditioned responding to the cue. Here we report two experiments in which potential parallels between the context specificity of the effects of extinction and latent inhibition...
Article
Full-text available
In two lick suppression experiments with rats, we assessed interference with behavior indicative of conditioned inhibition by a latent inhibition treatment as a function of test context. We asked what effect the test context has, given identical latent inhibition treatments in Phase 1 and identical conditioned inhibition trainings in Phase 2. In Ex...
Article
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Retroactive cue interference refers to situations in which a target cue X is paired with an outcome in phase 1 and a nontarget cue Z is paired with the same outcome in phase 2, with less subsequent responding to X being seen as a result of the phase 2 training. Two conditioned suppression experiments with rats were conducted to determine whether re...
Article
This editorial explains the reasoning behind The Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes name change. This Journal started publication in 1975 as a result of a major reorganization of the American Psychological Association's basic science journals. To signal that expansion of interest, the name of the journal has been changed...
Article
Recovery-from-extinction effects (e.g., spontaneous recovery, renewal, reinstatement, and facilitated reacquisition) have become the focus of much research in recent years. However, despite a great deal of empirical data, there are few theoretical explanations for these effects. This paucity poses a severe limitation on our understanding of these b...
Article
Although contexts play many roles during training and also during testing, over the last four decades theories of learning have predominantly focused on one or the other of two families of functions served by contexts. In this selective review, we summarize recent data concerning these two functions and their interrelationship. The first function i...
Article
This article introduces a new model of Pavlovian conditioning, attention as an acquisition and performance variable (AAPV), which, like several other so-called attentional models, emphasizes the role of variation of cue salience, together with associative strength, in accounting for conditioning phenomena. AAPV is primarily (but not exclusively) a...
Article
According to the temporal coding hypothesis (TCH, Savastano & Miller, 1998), acquired associations include temporal information concerning the interval between the associated elements. Moreover, the TCH posits that subjects can integrate two independently acquired associations that share a common element (e.g., S2-S1 and S1-US), which results in th...
Article
Full-text available
A series of experiments was conducted with rats to determine if the amount of potentially interfering information presented to a rat immediately following training and electroconvulsive shock (ECS) influenced the magnitude of ECS-induced amnesia. Using one-trial passive avoidance, multitrial active avoidance, one-trial active approach, and appetiti...
Article
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Recent studies have pursued the nature of inhibition observed in retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF) tasks. In a RIF paradigm, participants are trained on category-exemplar pairs in Phase 1. Then, some exemplars from select categories (Rp+ items) receive further practice in Phase 2. At test, impaired recall for non-practiced exemplars of the practic...
Article
Full-text available
A procedure is described for obtaining one trial active avoidance in a standard step down apparatus. Four groups of rats were given a single step down trial consisting of either platform shock, platform shock followed by ECS, ECS, or no treatment. On the test trial, the platform shock Ss stepped off the platform significantly faster than the other...
Article
Following multitrial active-avoidance training in a two-way shuttlebox, rats received a single electroconvulsive shock (ECS) of one of three intensities and six durations. Convulsed animals required more trials to relearn the task than they had taken in original learning, suggesting that ECS was an aversive stimulus. This effect first increased and...
Presentation
Attenuating Evaluative Conditioning : A Theoretical Issue With Clinical Implications.
Article
Full-text available
Two fear-conditioning experiments with rats assessed whether retrospective revaluation, which has been observed in cue competition (i.e., when compounded cues are followed with an outcome), can also be observed in retroactive cue interference (i.e., when different cues are reinforced in separate phases with the same outcome). Experiment 1 found tha...
Article
Rats that received one-trial passive avoidance training, followed 8 sec later by transcorneal electroconvulsive shock (ECS), displayed extensive memory deficits on a 24-h retention test. However, a noncontingent footshock delivered outside of the training situation during the retention interval caused a partial recovery of memory. Control Ss receiv...
Article
Full-text available
In four experiments with water-deprived rats, we examined the possibility that simultaneous associations between a conditioned stimulus (CS) and an unconditioned stimulus (US) were modulated or masked by context–US associations. In Experiment 1 we determined that simultaneous CS-US pairings administered in multiple contexts enhanced responding to t...
Article
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Based on the principles of Pavlovian learning and extinction, cue exposure therapy (CET) involves repeated exposure to substance-associated cues to extinguish conditioned cravings and reduce the likelihood of relapse. The efficacy of CET is predicated on successful extinction, yet the process of extinction in CET trials has rarely been demonstrated...
Article
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In Experiment 1, rats receiving electroconvulsive shock immediately following one-trial passive avoidance training displayed less amnesia on a 24-h retention test when the convulsion lacked a phase of hindlimb tonic extension. Experiment 2 found that attenuated amnesia and incomplete convulsions following electroconvulsive shock occurred in fewer a...
Article
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Rescorla’s “event-memory” hypothesis posits that extinction decrement is due in part to a weakening of a central unconditioned stimulus (US) representation that is shared by all stimuli associated with a particular US. Thus, extinction of one stimulus conditioned to a US should decrease conditioned responding to a second stimulus that has been inde...
Article
Full-text available
Most models of human and animal learning assume that learning is proportional to the discrepancy between a delivered outcome and the outcome predicted by all cues present during that trial (i.e., total error across a stimulus compound). This total error reduction (TER) view has been implemented in connectionist and artificial neural network models...
Article
This paper addresses sources contributing to the differences in the degree of recovery from extinction observed with different renewal paradigms. In two lick suppression experiments with rats, we assessed the role of the associative status of the acquisition context in both the weakness of AAC renewal and the sometimes observed weaker renewal resul...
Article
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Studies of extinction in Pavlovian preparations can identify conditions that make extinction more enduring and increase the benefits of exposure-based behavior therapy. One such potential condition is the use of spaced extinction trials. Nevertheless, contradictory results of spacing extinction trials are found in the existing literature. Here we e...
Article
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The core temperatures and brain temperatures of rats were simultaneously tracked. Ice water immersion produces almost as marked a decrease in brain temperature as in core temperature. During the unaided recovery of normal temperatures following hypothermia, rectal and brain temperatures follow a parallel course.
Article
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Fear conditioning and experimental extinction have been presented as models of anxiety disorders and exposure therapy, respectively. Moreover, the return of fear serves as a model of relapse after exposure therapy. Here we present two experiments, with rats as subjects in a lick suppression preparation, in which we assessed the additive effects of...
Article
Full-text available
Appetitive stimuli, aversive stimuli, or novel stimuli of relatively low affective value were presented to rats following one-trial passive avoidance training. When tested 24 h later, the groups did not differ in retention of the passive avoidance task. The results do not support the hypothesis of Huston, Mondadori, and Waser (1974) that posttraini...
Article
Full-text available
Rats that received one-trial passive avoidance training followed 15 sec later by electroconvulsive shock displayed extensive memory deficits on a 24-h retention test. Intraperitoneal injection of strychnine sulfate at various dosages up to 2.0 mg/kg body weight 1 min after ECS failed to/attenuate amnesia.
Article
Full-text available
Using escape from conditioned aversive stimuli as an indirect index of strength of classical conditioning, one-trial conditioning was demonstrated. Electroconvulsive shock immediately following the unconditioned stimulus (footshock) yielded amnesia for the conditioned associations, and a single “reminder” footshock given in an environment dissimila...
Article
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The majority of preference-for-signaled-shock experiments have been done using scrambled footshock. In the present study each of the 24 rats used as subjects was observed to modify the current density distribution or totally avoid scrambled footshock by making a postural adjustment during a signal preceding the shock. This suggests that footshock i...
Article
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Water-deprived rats were trained to run for water in an E-maze on a delayed-alternation task with a 5-min retention interval. Each day, long before encountering and again long after having encountered the delayed-alternation task, all subjects consistently experienced weak footshock in Context A and no footshock in Context B. Contexts A and B were...
Article
In this editorial, the author introduces his new goals for the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes. The journal's focus will continue to be on papers reporting programmatic series of experiments concerned with animal cognition in all of its aspects, with "animal" including humans, provided that the related theory and/or da...
Article
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Four conditioned suppression experiments with rats, using an ABC renewal design, investigated the effects of compounding the target conditioned excitor with additional, nontarget conditioned excitors during extinction. Experiment 1 showed stronger extinction, as evidenced by less renewal, when the target excitor was extinguished in compound with a...
Chapter
Conditioning and learning are the means by which organisms modify their behavior in response to changes in the environment. These changes occur within the lifespan of the organism, in contrast to conventional evolution, which supports behavioral changes across generations in response to changes in the environment. The central phenomena of Pavlovian...
Article
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Previous simulations revealed that the sometimes competing retrieval model (SOCR; Stout & Miller, Psychological Review, 114, 759-783, 2007), which assumes local error reduction, can explain many cue interaction phenomena that elude traditional associative theories based on total error reduction. Here, we applied SOCR to a new set of Pavlovian pheno...
Article
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Most theories of associative learning assert that conditioned responding to a target cue is a monotonically increasing function of unconditioned-stimulus (US) intensity. In a lick suppression preparation with rats, a cue was paired with a 0.4-, 0.6-, 0.8-, 1.0-, 1.2-, or 1.4-mA footshock in Experiment 1a, and with a 0.3-, 0.8-, 1.3-, or 1.8-mA foot...
Article
Prior research has found that when subjects independently acquire 2 associations with a common element (e.g., S1-S2 and S2-US), each with its own temporal relationship, they behave as if the 2 unique cues (i.e., S1 and US) have a known temporal relationship despite their never having been paired. This is interpreted as indicative of temporal integr...
Article
Full-text available
Are humans unique in their ability to interpret exogenous events as causes? We addressed this question by observing the behavior of rats for indications of causal learning. Within an operant motor-sensory preconditioning paradigm, associative surgical techniques revealed that rats attempted to control an outcome (i.e., a potential effect) by manipu...
Article
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Miller and Matute (1996) showed that blocking is attenuated when the blocked conditioned stimulus (CS) is “biologically significant” (i.e., when the CS has the potential to elicit vigorous responding of any kind). To the extent that blocking is representative of cue competition, this finding suggests that biological significance protects CSs agains...
Article
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Research using non-human animals as experimental subjects to understand human behavior have been based on the Darwinian notion of continuity between species. In this framework, we find analogous models to understand human biology and behavior in nonhuman species. In the scientific study of psychology, animal models have proven to be an effective to...