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The Relative Activation of Associations Modulates Interference between Elementally Trained Cues

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Abstract

Matute and Pineño (1998a) showed evidence of interference between elementally trained cues and suggested that this effect occurs when the interfering association is more strongly activated than the target association at the time of testing. The present experiments tested directly the role of the relative activation of the associations in the effect of interference between elementally trained cues. In three human experiments we manipulated the relative activation of the interfering and target associations in three different ways: (a) introducing a retention interval between training of the interfering association and the test trial (Experiment 1); (b) training the target and the interfering associations in a single phase, instead of training them in separate phases (Experiment 2); and (c) introducing, just before testing, a novel cue which, like the retention interval used in Experiment 1, had the purpose of separating the interfering trials from the test trial (Experiment 3). All three manipulations led to an enhancement of responding to the target association at testing, suggesting that they were effective in preventing the interfering association from being the most strongly activated one at the time of testing. Taken together, these results add further evidence on how the relative activation of associations modulates interference between elementally trained cues.

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... Bouton's (1993) account of outcome interference does not lend itself to explaining cue interference without some revision. Miller and Escobar (2002) proposed a modification of Bouton's model that anticipates parallel effects between outcome interference and cue interference (for precursors of this account, see Escobar, Arcediano, & Miller, 2001a;Escobar, Matute, & Miller, 2001b;Pineño, Ortega, & Matute, 2000). In short, the model encompasses two independent mechanisms, both of which are always in force; but specific procedures can favor the expression of one to a greater degree than the other. ...
... Moreover, Miguez, Cham, and Miller (2012) provided evidence of renewal-like context specificity of (and spontaneous recovery from) retroactive cue interference in a fear-conditioning paradigm with rats as subjects, which parallels the observations of these types of recovery in the associative outcome interference literature. Specifically, they observed spontaneous recovery from retroactive cue interference after a 21-day retention interval, relative to the low responding to the target cue observed when testing occurred after a 1-day retention interval (see also Escobar et al., 2001b;Luque, Morís, & Cobos, 2010;Pineño et al., 2000). ...
... Within a Pavlovian preparation, less conditioned lick suppression was observed to the target CS (X) when an interfering association was trained (Z-O), relative to when a control treatment exposed the subjects to the same number of unpaired presentations of the interfering cue and the outcome. These observations are concordant with numerous other reports concerning associative cue interference (e.g., Cobos, López, & Luque, 2007;Escobar et al., 2001b;Luque et al., 2010;Luque, Morís, Cobos, & López, 2009;Luque, Cobos, & López, 2008;Matute & Pineño, 1998;Miguez et al., 2012;Vadillo, Orgaz, & Matute, 2008;Pineño et al., 2000). ...
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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 retroactive cue interference is similarly modulated by a manipulation that influences retroactive outcome interference (e.g., extinction). Both experiments used an ABC renewal-like design in which phase 1 training, phase 2 training, and testing each occurred in different contexts. Experiment 1 found that training the target association in multiple contexts without altering the number of training trials during phase 1 decreased retroactive cue interference (i.e., increased responding consistent with the target association). Experiment 2 found that training the interfering association in multiple contexts without altering the number of interference trials during phase 2 increased retroactive cue interference (i.e., decreased responding consistent with the target association). The possibility of similar mechanisms underlying cue interference and outcome interference is discussed.
... This could explain why interference was observed in the present experiments, even though the associative strength of the interfering association was necessarily weaker than that of the target association. The contextual effects described above (i.e., interference occurs even when A and X are trained in different contexts but only if X is tested in the context in which A was trained), as well as a recent research by Pineño, Ortega, and Matute (2000), also add support to the view that the effect takes place during retrieval, and only when the interfering association is more strongly activated than the target association. To test this view, Pineño et al. manipulated the relative activation of the two associations at testing in different ways: By inserting a retention interval between the interfering A → O trials and the test trial; by randomizing the X → O and A → O trials throughout the experiment rather than separating them in two different phases; and by inserting, just before testing, a novel cue that, like the retention interval, had the purpose of separating the test trial from the interfering Phase 2 trials. ...
... For example, the results of group Context in Experiment 2 suggest that the mere occurrence of the outcome in the absence of X is not sufficient to produce interference. Moreover, the retention-interval experiment mentioned above (Pineño et al., 2000), in which the interference effect was alleviated by the mere insertion of a retention interval before testing cannot be explained as a rule-learning effect and suggests that manipulating the relative activation of the associations at testing was what determined the presence or absence of the effect in that experiment. Apparently, if two cues are associated to the same outcome, and one of these cue–outcome associations is more strongly activated than the other one, the weaker association will not be retrieved or, at least, its retrieval will be impaired. ...
Article
Recent research has shown that the acquisition of a second cue–outcome association can interfere with responding appropriate to a previously acquired association between another cue and the same outcome, even if the two cues had never received compound training (Matute & Pineño, 1998a). This is similar to other results in the paired-associate literature but it is problematic for associative theories of learning because all of them assume that compound training is necessary for cues to interfere with each other. However, given several assumptions, a recent revision of Wagner's (1981) SOP model proposed by Dickinson and Burke (1996) could account for most of the data available on interference between elementally trained cues. According to the modified SOP model, the target cue that is paired with the outcome during Phase 1 could acquire an inhibitory association with the outcome during the Phase 2 trials in which the interfering cue is trained and the target cue is absent. This inhibitory association could be responsible for the weak responding observed to the target cue during testing because it could interfere with the excitatory association acquired during Phase 1. If this is true, interference should be weaker as the number of Phase 2 interfering trials is reduced. However, the three experiments reported here show that interference can occur even when only one interfering trial is given during Phase 2. The results of these experiments, along with other results in the literature, add support to the idea that interference between elementally trained cues occurs during retrieval and that it is not due to the formation of inhibitory associations between an absent cue and the outcome.
... The procedure was based on the Spy-Radio task (Pineño et al., 2000;Matute et al., 2007). In this task, participants are asked to imagine that they are soldiers that have to rescue war refugees. ...
... If the road was free of mines, the refugees placed into the truck in that trial are saved and participants win as many points as saved refugees. If the road was mined, all the refugees placed into the truck die and participants loose one point per refugee (for more information about the experimental task, including instructions, see Pineño et al., 2000). ...
Article
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Decades of research in extinction and interference show that contexts can play a critical role at disambiguating the meaning of cues that have been paired with different outcomes at different times. For instance, if a cue x is followed by outcome 1 in the first phase of an experiment and by outcome 2 in a second phase, responses to cue x tend to be consistent with outcome 2 when tested in a context similar to that of the second phase of the experiment. However, if participants are taken back to the original context of the first phase (i.e., ABA renewal) or to a completely new context (i.e., ABC or AAB renewal), their responses to x tend to be more consistent with outcome 1. Although the role of physical and temporal contexts has been well studied, other factors that can also modulate the selective retrieval of information after interference have received less attention. The present series of experiments shows how changes in cue configuration can modulate responding in a similar manner. Across five experiments using a human predictive learning task, we found that adding, removing or replacing elements from a compound cue that had undergone an interference treatment gave rise to a recovery of responding akin to that observed after context changes in AAB renewal. These results are consistent with those of previous studies exploring the effect of changes of cue configuration on interference. Taken together, these studies suggest that a change in cue configuration can have the functional properties of a context change, a finding with important implications for formal models of configural learning and for classical accounts of interference and information retrieval.
... Among those computer games, little is different from what is available in PL tasks. For example, in the Spy Radio task of Pineño, Ortega, and Matute (2000), participants load a number of refugees onto a truck for rescue, depending on the road conditions predicted by lights on a "Spy Radio." In Pineño et al. (2000) and Escobar, Pineño, and Matute (2002), loading has been accomplished by holding down a space bar for varying amounts of time. ...
... For example, in the Spy Radio task of Pineño, Ortega, and Matute (2000), participants load a number of refugees onto a truck for rescue, depending on the road conditions predicted by lights on a "Spy Radio." In Pineño et al. (2000) and Escobar, Pineño, and Matute (2002), loading has been accomplished by holding down a space bar for varying amounts of time. When more than one physical response is required to load refugees, there has been no time limit (Pineño & Miller, 2004). ...
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This article presents a 3-D science-fiction-based videogame method to study learning, and two experiments that we used to validate it. In this method, participants are first trained to respond to enemy spaceships (Stimulus 2, or S2) with particular keypresses, followed by transport to a new context (galaxy), where other manipulations can occur. During conditioning, colored flashing lights (Stimulus 1, or S1) can predict S2, and the response attached to S2 from the prior phase comes to be evoked by S1. In Experiment 1 we demonstrated that, in accord with previous findings from animals, conditioning in this procedure was positively related to the ratio of the time between trials to the time within a trial. Experiment 2 demonstrated the phenomena of extinction, timing, and renewal. Responding to S1 was slightly lost with a context change, and diminished over trials in the absence of S2. On early extinction trials, responding during S1 declined after the time that S2 normally occurred. Extinguished responding to S1 recovered robustly with a context change.
... However, it is also possible that the CS-US-rehearsal trials primarily produce their effect by reducing responding to the non-rehearsed CS+, such that rehearsal of one CS-US-contingency interferes with responding to the other CS+, which was presented during the same learning phase. Such interference has been shown before, for instance in studies by Pineno and colleagues (Matute and Pineno, 1998;Pineño et al., 2000) demonstrating impaired responding to X when X+ training was followed by A+ training. Similarly, in our studies the decrease in CR to the non-rehearsed CS+ can be considered as the result of stimulus competition between elementally trained CSs evoked by mental rehearsal trials pairing the rehearsed CS+ and the US. ...
Article
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Individuals seem to differ in conditionability, i.e., the ease by which the contingent presentation of two stimuli will lead to a conditioned response. In contemporary learning theory, individual differences in the etiology and maintenance of anxiety disorders are, among others, explained by individual differences in temperamental variables (Mineka & Zinbarg, 2006). One such individual difference variable is how people process a learning experience when the conditioning stimuli are no longer present. Repeatedly thinking about the conditioning experience, as in worry or rumination, might prolong the initial (fear) reactions and as such, might leave certain individuals more vulnerable to developing an anxiety disorder. However, in human conditioning research, relatively little attention has been devoted to the processing of a memory trace after its initial acquisition, despite its potential influences on subsequent performance. Post-acquisition processing can be induced by mental reiteration of a CS-US-contingency. Using a human conditioned suppression paradigm, we investigated the effect of repeated activations of a CS-US-contingency memory on the level of conditioned responding at a later test. Results of three experiments showed more sustained responding to a ‘rehearsed’ CS+ as compared to a ‘non-rehearsed’ CS+. Moreover, the second experiment showed no effect of rehearsal when only the CS was rehearsed instead of the CS-US-contingency. The third experiment demonstrated that mental CS-US-rehearsal has the same effect regardless of whether it was cued by the CS and a verbal reference to the US or by a neutral signal, making the rehearsal ‘purely mental’. In sum, it was demonstrated that post-acquisition activation of a CS-US-contingency memory can impact conditioned responding, underlining the importance of post-acquisition processes in conditioning. This might indicate that individuals who are more prone to mentally rehearse information condition more easily.
... Se ha de reseñar que el añadido de las condiciones de control en estos experimentos ha llevado a que se confunda la interferencia retroactiva entre consecuencias con la posible interferencia retroactiva entre claves relacionadas con la misma consecuencia. Matute y Pineño (1998) encontraron que cuando se emparejaban dos claves secuencialmente con la misma consecuencia, el entrenamiento con la segunda clave llevaba a un descenso en la respuesta a la primera (véase también Pineño, Ortega, Matute, 2000). Dado que nuestro diseño igualaba la exposición a las consecuencias a lo largo del experimento, el descenso en la respuesta a la relación A+ tras la interferencia podría deberse a que hubo otros estímulos que se emparejaron con el + durante la interferencia. ...
... In this case, the participants were instructed to imagine that they had to help a group of refugees to Backward Blocking 7 escape from a war zone in several trucks. In this task, the cues were light indicators that signalled the presence or absence of several obstacles (e.g., hidden mines) on the road which played the role of outcomes (see also Pineño, Ortega, & Matute, 2000). Thus, participants had to infer whether there were obstacles, as hidden mines, on the road, from the illumination of indicator lights to decide whether to place or not refugees in the trucks. ...
Article
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Backward blocking (BB) and interference between cues (IbC) are cue competition effects produced by very similar manipulations. In a standard BB design both effects might occur simultaneously, which implies a potential problem to study BB. In the present study with humans, the magnitude of both effects was compared using a non causal scenario and a within subjects design. Previous studies have made this comparison using learning tasks framed within causal scenarios. This posits a limit to generalizing their findings to non-causal learning situations because there is ample evidence showing that participants engage in causal reasoning when tasks are causally framed. The results obtained showed BB and IbC effects of the same magnitude in a non causal framed task. This highlights the methodological need for an IbC control in BB experiments.
... Second, and most important, these experiments were intended to expand the generality of these results to humans using similar designs but an auditory discrimination learning task, in which a set of notes sequentially presented served as cues and fictitious composers served as outcomes (Experiments 2– 4). There are very few behavioral preparations for studying Pavlovian conditioning with humans (but see and Arcediano, Ortega, & Matute, 1996; Pineño, Ortega, & Matute, 2000; and Shanks & Dickinson, 1991). Human judgments of causality have been a frequent measure in recent years. ...
Article
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In Experiments 1A, 1B, and 1C, nonhuman subjects, rats, received long alternated exposures to two compound flavors, AX and BX, that shared one flavor in common, X. Following this, conditioning of an aversion to A was sufficient to establish B as a conditioned inhibitor of the aversive unconditioned stimulus, passing both summation and retardation tests. Two additional experiments (Experiments 2 and 3) expanded the generality of these results to humans, using similar designs but an auditory discrimination learning task. A set of notes sequentially presented served as cues and fictitious composers served as outcomes. Both summation and retardation effects were found (Experiments 2 and 3, respectively). Experiment 4 then sought to clarify the mechanism underlying these effects. The results are discussed within several theoretical frameworks, most centrally the McLaren, Kaye, and Mackintosh (1989) theory of perceptual learning.
... this experiment, we used the spy-radio task (Matute, Vadillo, & Bárcena, 2007; Pineño, Ortega, & Matute, 2000). 2 In this task, participants are asked to imagine that they are soldiers ordered to rescue refugees that are hidden in a ramshackle building. ...
Article
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People can create temporal contexts, or episodes, and stimuli that belong to the same context can later be used to retrieve the memory of other events that occurred at the same time. This can occur in the absence of direct contingency and contiguity between the events, which poses a challenge to associative theories of learning and memory. Because this is a learning and memory problem, we propose an integrated approach. Theories of temporal contexts developed in the memory tradition provide interesting predictions that we test using the methods of associative learning to assess their generality and applicability to different settings and dependent variables. In 4 experiments, the integration of these 2 areas allows us to show that (a) participants spontaneously create temporal contexts in the absence of explicit instructions; (b) cues can be used to retrieve an old temporal context and the information associated with other cues that were trained in that context; and (c) the memory of a retrieved temporal context can be updated with information from the current situation that does not fit well with the retrieved memory, thereby helping participants to best adapt their behavior to the future changes of the environment.
... Miscuing has been shown in procedures assessing habituation and Pavlovian conditioning of autonomic responses and in causal learning tasks using cover stories related to the stock market and the investigation of allergies (Lipp, unpublished data). Interference has been shown in the 'Martian task' computer game (Arcediano et al., 1996) and more recently, in a 'spy radio' task (Pineno, Ortega, & Matute, 2000; for a recent demonstration of the interference effect in animals see Escobar, Matute, & Miller, 2001). Moreover, in previous studies, there were a number of procedural differences, in that, for instance, miscuing was observed after one miscuing trial whereas several presentations of the second predictive stimulus were employed in the assessment of the interference effect. ...
Article
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The present series of experiments was designed to assess whether rule-based accounts of Pavlovian learning can account for cue competition effects observed after elemental training. All experiments involved initial differential conditioning training with A-US and B alone presentations. Miscuing refers to the fact that responding to A is impaired after one B-US presentation whereas interference is the impairment of responding to A after presentation of C-US pairings. Omission refers to the effects on B of A alone presentations. Experiments 1-2a provided clear evidence for miscuing whereas interference was not found after 1, 5 or 10 C-US pairings. Moreover, Experiments 3 and 3a found only weak evidence for interference in an A-US, B I C-US, D I A design used previously to show the effect. Experiments 4 and 5 failed to find any effect of US omission after one or five omission trials. The present results indicate that miscuing is more robust than is the interference effect. Moreover, the asymmetrical effects of US miscuing and US omission are difficult to accommodate within rule-based accounts of Pavlovian conditioning. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.
... Second, and most important, these experiments were intended to expand the generality of these results to humans using similar designs but an auditory discrimination learning task, in which a set of notes sequentially presented served as cues and fictitious composers served as outcomes (Experiments 2– 4). There are very few behavioral preparations for studying Pavlovian conditioning with humans (but see and Arcediano, Ortega, & Matute, 1996; Pineño, Ortega, & Matute, 2000; and Shanks & Dickinson, 1991). Human judgments of causality have been a frequent measure in recent years. ...
Article
Full-text available
In Experiments 1A, 1B, and 1C, nonhuman subjects, rats, received long alternated exposures to two compound flavors, AX and BX, that shared one flavor in common, X. Following this, conditioning of an aversion to A was sufficient to establish B as a conditioned inhibitor of the aversive unconditioned stimulus, passing both summation and retardation tests. Two additional experiments (Experiments 2 and 3) expanded the generality of these results to humans, using similar designs but an auditory discrimination learning task. A set of notes sequentially presented served as cues and fictitious composers served as outcomes. Both summation and retardation effects were found (Experiments 2 and 3, respectively). Experiment 4 then sought to clarify the mechanism underlying these effects. The results are discussed within several theoretical frameworks, most centrally the McLaren, Kaye, and Mackintosh (1989) theory of perceptual learning.
... Other studies have demonstrated that alternative cues need not even be associated indirectly with the target cue. Matute and colleagues (Matute & Pineño, 1988a, b; Pineño, Ortega, & Matute, 2000) showed that responding to a target cue T is reduced when an alternative cue is paired with the same outcome (A+) after the T+ trials. They pointed out that such results are similar to retrospective interference effects that have been reported in the paired-associative learning literature (i.e., impaired recollection of an association A–B when A–B trials are followed by C–B trials). ...
Article
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Over the past 20 years, human contingency learning has resurfaced as an important topic within experimental psychology. This renewed interest was sparked mainly by the proposal that associative models of Pavlovian conditioning might also apply to human contingency learning--a proposal that has led to many new empirical findings and theoretical developments. We provide a brief review of these recent developments and try to point to issues that need to be addressed in future research.
... The aim of the two experiments presented here was to evaluate the effects of time and context change upon interference in a situation of discrimination reversal in human instrumental learning where participants' performance is recorded behaviourally. As far as we know, there are just a few reports of behavioural evaluation of context and time effects upon interference in human literature Pineño, Ortega, & Matute, 2000). The experiments presented here extended the behavioural evaluation to the effects of context change and time upon discrimination reversal in an instrumental learning situation. ...
Article
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Two experiments were conducted using a discrimination reversal task in human beings with the aim of exploring the effects of time and context upon retrieval of a discrimination (S: C1+, C2-) that had been previously reversed (S: C1-, C2+). In Experiment 1, a 48-hr retention interval after reversal training led to spontaneous recovery of the original discrimination during the test. In Experiment 2, changing the context between reversal training and testing led to renewal of the original discrimination, independently of whether the context change involved returning to the acquisition context (121 renewal) or going to a different context (112 renewal). These results are in agreement with the predictions of Bouton's retrieval theory (Bouton, 1993).
... One might suggest that the difference between Cues C/D and E/F occurred because the G!O2 trials given in Phase 2 increased the probability of the Outcome 2 in the absence of Cues C and D, thereby reducing the overall contingency between these cues and O2. However, past research on interference between cues trained apart reveals that this effect is context-and trial-order dependent ; the effect disappears if the interfering association (here, G!O2) and the target associations (here, C!O2 and D!O2) are trained in a single phase or if the test occurs in a different context (Escobar, Matute, & Miller, 2001; Matute & Pineño, 1998; Pineño, Ortega, & Matute, 2000). These manipulations do not affect the cue – outcome contingency and, therefore , make the disparity between Cues C/D and E/F difficult to explain in terms of differential contingency. ...
Article
Most theoretical accounts of backward blocking place heavy stress on the necessity of the target cue having been trained in compound with the competing cue to produce a decrement in responding. Yet, other evidence suggests that a similar reduction in responding to the target cue can be observed when the outcome is later paired with a novel cue never trained in compound with the target cue (interference between cues trained apart). The present experiment shows that pairing another nonassociated cue with the same outcome may be sufficient to produce a decremental effect on the target cue, but the presence of a within-compound association between the target and the competing cue adds to this effect. Thus, both interference between cues trained apart and within-compound associations independently contribute to backward blocking.
... The aim of the two experiments presented here was to evaluate the effects of time and context change upon interference in a situation of discrimination reversal in human instrumental learning where participants' performance is recorded behaviourally. As far as we know, there are just a few reports of behavioural evaluation of context and time effects upon interference in human literature Pineño, Ortega, & Matute, 2000). The experiments presented here extended the behavioural evaluation to the effects of context change and time upon discrimination reversal in an instrumental learning situation. ...
Article
Full-text available
Two experiments were conducted using a discrimination reversal task in human beings with the aim of exploring the effects of time and context upon retrieval of a discrimination (S: C1+, C2-) that had been previously reversed (S: C1-, C2+). In Experiment 1, a 48-hr retention interval after reversal training led to spontaneous recovery of the original discrimination during the test. In Experiment 2, changing the context between reversal training and testing led to renewal of the original discrimination, independently of whether the context change involved returning to the acquisition context (121 renewal) or going to a different context (112 renewal). These results are in agreement with the predictions of Bouton’s retrieval theory (Bouton, 1993).
... As in previous studies using this task (e.g., Pineño, Ortega, & Matute, 2000), we used a selection criterion in order to ensure that participants were attending to the experiment and that they had learned to discriminate between the masking task cues that signaled refugees saved (appetitive outcome) and refugees died (aversive outcomes). According to this criterion, the number of responses given to cue A on its last presentation in the acquisition phase had to be higher than the number of responses given to cue B on its last presentation in the acquisition phase. ...
Article
The present experiments assessed the effects of different manipulations between cue preexposure and cue-outcome pairings on latent inhibition (LI) in a predictive learning task with human participants. To facilitate LI, preexposure and acquisition with the target cues took place while participants performed a secondary task. Presentation of neither the target cues nor the target outcome was anticipated based on the instructions. Experiment 1 demonstrated the LI effect in the new experimental preparation. Experiment 2 analyzed the impact on LI of different activities that participants performed during the interval between preexposure and acquisition. Experiment 3 assessed LI as a function of changes in the secondary task cues made between preexposure and acquisition, namely presenting novel cues and reversing the cue-outcome contingencies. All of the manipulations in Experiments 2 and 3 resulted in a decrease in LI. The attenuation of LI by these manipulations challenges most current theories of learning and is best accommodated by Conditioned Attention Theory (Lubow, Weiner, & Schnur, 1981).
... En los últimos años se ha venido acumulando una evidencia empírica importante a favor de que determinadas teorías asociativas, surgidas originariamente en el campo del condicionamiento animal para explicar estos fenómenos de interferencia, ofrecen una buena explicación de fenómenos de interferencia equivalentes en el aprendizaje causal humano (e.g., la teoría de la recuperación de Bouton, 1993). En particular, la evidencia se ha venido acumulando en el terreno de los fenómenos tanto de interferencia entre diferentes resultados de una misma señal, como de interferencia entre diferentes señales de un mismo resultado (Castro, Ortega y Matute, 2002;Matute y Pineño, 1998a, 1998bPineño, Ortega y Matute, 2000;Vila y Rosas, 2001a, b). ...
... De la misma manera que se produce interferencia cuando una clave es asociada con consecuencias distintas en diferentes momentos, también se produce interferencia cuando varias claves son asociadas con una misma consecuencia en momentos diferentes. Así, en diversos experimentos realizados en nuestro laboratorio, hemos observado el efecto de interferencia entre claves entrenadas elementalmente (Matute y Pineño, 1998b) y la influencia que tienen sobre este efecto determinadas manipulaciones de recuperación de la respuesta tras la fase de interferencia (Pineño, Ortega y Matute, 2000). ...
Book
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El libro presenta 14 capitulos escritos por estudiosos de los tópicos del aprendizaje asocaitivo mas relevanes en ese momento en España y Mexico.
... En los últimos años se ha venido acumulando una evidencia empírica importante a favor de que determinadas teorías asociativas, surgidas originariamente en el campo del condicionamiento animal para explicar estos fenómenos de interferencia, ofrecen una buena explicación de fenómenos de interferencia equivalentes en el aprendizaje causal humano (e.g., la teoría de la recuperación de Bouton, 1993). En particular, la evidencia se ha venido acumulando en el terreno de los fenómenos tanto de interferencia entre diferentes resultados de una misma señal, como de interferencia entre diferentes señales de un mismo resultado (Castro, Ortega y Matute, 2002;Matute y Pineño, 1998a, 1998bPineño, Ortega y Matute, 2000;Vila y Rosas, 2001a, b). ...
Conference Paper
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Trabajos en extenso presentados en el Symposium titulado "Extinción y recuperación de la información en aprendizaje causal: perspectivas teóricas" organizado en el marco del XV Congreso de la Sociedad Española de Psicología Comparada, celebrado en Barcelona en septiembre del año 2003 y en el que la mayoría de los grupos hispanos dedicados a este tema presentaron los últimos avances de sus investigaciones y reflexiones teóricas.
... En los últimos años se ha venido acumulando una evidencia empírica importante a favor de que determinadas teorías asociativas, surgidas originariamente en el campo del condicionamiento animal para explicar estos fenómenos de interferencia, ofrecen una buena explicación de fenómenos de interferencia equivalentes en el aprendizaje causal humano (e.g., la teoría de la recuperación de Bouton, 1993). En particular, la evidencia se ha venido acumulando en el terreno de los fenómenos tanto de interferencia entre diferentes resultados de una misma señal, como de interferencia entre diferentes señales de un mismo resultado (Castro, Ortega y Matute, 2002;Matute y Pineño, 1998a, 1998bPineño, Ortega y Matute, 2000;Vila y Rosas, 2001a, b). ...
... En los últimos años se ha venido acumulando una evidencia empírica importante a favor de que determinadas teorías asociativas, surgidas originariamente en el campo del condicionamiento animal para explicar estos fenómenos de interferencia, ofrecen una buena explicación de fenómenos de interferencia equivalentes en el aprendizaje causal humano (e.g., la teoría de la recuperación de Bouton, 1993). En particular, la evidencia se ha venido acumulando en el terreno de los fenómenos tanto de interferencia entre diferentes resultados de una misma señal, como de interferencia entre diferentes señales de un mismo resultado (Castro, Ortega y Matute, 2002;Matute y Pineño, 1998a, 1998bPineño, Ortega y Matute, 2000;Vila y Rosas, 2001a, b). ...
Book
Full-text available
Este libro nace a partir de un symposium titulado "Extinción y recuperación de la información en aprendizaje causal: perspectivas teóricas" organizado en el marco del XV Congreso de la Sociedad Española de Psicología Comparada, celebrado en Barcelona en septiembre del año 2003 y en el que la mayoría de los grupos hispanos dedicados a este tema presentaron los últimos avances de sus investigaciones y reflexiones teóricas.
... r B-O Ap trials) and nonreinforced in the other 50% of the trials. However, for cue A the nonreinforced trials consisted of trials in which the cue was followed by the neutral outcome (i.e., A-O Ne trials), whereas for cue B the nonreinforced trials consisted of trials in which the cue was followed by the aversive outcome (i.e., cue B-O Av trials). Pineño, Ortega, & Matute, 2000;) 1 . In this preparation, participants were asked to imagine that they were to rescue a group of refugees by helping them escape from a war zone in trucks. A translation of the instructions from Spanish reads as follows: After these instructions, participants were shown a fourth screen that gave instructions about contextual changes. Al ...
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Efectos Diferenciales de la Ausencia de Reforzamiento y e l Castigo en Humanos. En una preparación de aprendizaje asociativo, los participantes recibieron reforzamiento parcial (RP) con dos claves diferentes. Para una de las claves, las presentaciones no reforzadas consistieron en emparejamientos de la clave con una consecuencia neutra, mientras que estas presentaciones consistieron en emparejamientos con una consecuencia aversiva para la otra clave. Los resultados mostraron que el entrenamiento de RP produjo una fuerte respuesta ante la clave emparejada con la consecuencia neutra en los ensayos no reforzados. Sin embargo, la respuesta ante la clave emparejada con la consecuencia aversiva en los ensayos no reforzados resultó fuertemente suprimida. Los presentes resultados son problemáticos para las teorías actuales del aprendizaje (p. ej., Rescorla y Wagner, 1972), pero pueden ser explicados por teorías clásicas que incluyen mecanismos motivacionales (p. ej., Konorski, 1967), así como por un modelo recientemente desarrollado, en el cual las expectativas de consecuencias incompatibles compiten por su expresión en la conducta (i.e., Pineño & Matute, 2003).
... Interference between cues, recently observed in predictive learning studies, had been found much earlier in the verbal learning tradition (Abra, 1967;Cheung & Goulet, 1968;Keppel, Bonge, Strand, & Parker, 1971;Schwartz, 1968). In predictive learning, the evidence for interference between cues comes mainly from human studies (see, for example, Escobar, Pineño, & Matute, 2002;Matute & Pineño, 1998;Pineño, Ortega, & Matute, 2000), though there is also evidence for interference between cues from animal experiments (Escobar, Arcediano, & Miller, 2001;Escobar, Matute, & Miller, 2001;Escobar & Miller, 2003). As mentioned above for other forms of interference, interference between cues extinguishes or decreases whenever participants are tested with A either in a novel context or in the context in which the A-O1 relationship was learned (Matute & Pineño, 1998; ...
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... De la misma manera que se produce interferencia cuando una clave es asociada con consecuencias distintas en diferentes momentos, también se produce interferencia cuando varias claves son asociadas con una misma consecuencia en momentos diferentes. Así, en diversos experimentos realizados en nuestro laboratorio, hemos observado el efecto de interferencia entre claves entrenadas elementalmente (Matute y Pineño, 1998b) y la influencia que tienen sobre este efecto determinadas manipulaciones de recuperación de la respuesta tras la fase de interferencia (Pineño, Ortega y Matute, 2000). ...
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Associative learning theories assume that cue interaction and, specifically, retrospective revaluation occur only when the target cue is previously trained in compound with the to-be-revalued cue. However, there are recent demonstrations of retrospective revaluation in the absence of compound training (e.g., Matute & Pineño, 1998a, 1998b). Nevertheless, it seems reasonable to assume that cue interaction should be stronger when the cues are trained together than when they are trained apart. In two experiments with humans, we directly compared compound and elemental training of cues. The results showed that retrospective revaluation in the elemental condition can be as strong as and, sometimes, stronger than that in the compound condition. This suggests that within-compound associations are not necessary for retrospective revaluation to occur and that these effects can possibly be best understood in the framework of general interference theory.
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Retroactive interference between cues trained apart was long ago studied in the Psychology of Memory, within the paired associate tradition. Current theories of learning, however, predict that interference between cues should not occur if they are trained elementally. Here we review the available evidence on retroactive interference between cues trained apart and show that this effect is very similar to other, classical effects, in the area of learning, such as interference between outcomes and competition between cues. We suggest that a stronger connection between these research areas is important, as common mechanisms are quite possibly responsible for all these effects. Finally, we discuss whether associative or the causal inference mechanisms currently studied in the area of learning could provide a satisfactory explanation for these effects.
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Resultados recientes en la literatura ponen en cuestión si la atenuación de la interferencia retroactiva que se produce como consecuencia del cambio de contexto tras la fase de interferencia se deben al abandono de este contexto de interferencia (Bouton, 1993) o al regreso al contexto de adquisición. Se realizaron dos experimentos para comprobar si era posible obtener renovación en un paradigma de aprendizaje causal. Se utilizó una tarea de interferencia retroactiva que consistía en emparejar una clave y una consecuencia (A+) y posteriormente esa misma clave con una consecuencia incompatible (A*). El cambio de contexto tras la fase de interferencia produjo una atenuación de la interferencia retroactiva independientemente de si este cambio supuso un regreso al contexto de adquisición (Experimento 1) o simplemente el abandono del contexto de interferencia (Experimento 2). Los resultados obtenidos se ajustan a lo predicho desde la teoría de la recuperación de Bouton (1993).
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The impairment in responding to a secondly trained association because of the prior training of another (i.e., proactive interference) is a well-established effect in human and animal research, and it has been demonstrated in many paradigms. However, learning theories have been concerned with proactive interference only when the competing stimuli have been presented in compound at some moment of the training phase. In this experiment we investigated the possibility of proactive interference between elementally-trained stimuli at the acquisition and at the retrieval stages in a behav-ioral task with humans. After training a cue-outcome association we observed retardation in the acquisition of an association between another cue and the same outcome. Moreover, after asymptotic acquisition of the secondly trained association, impairment of retrieval of this secondly trained association was also observed. This finding of proactive interference between elementally-trained cues suggests that interference in predictive learning and other traditional interference effects could be integrated into a common framework.
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In an interference-between-cues design (IbC), the expression of a learned Cue A–Outcome 1 association has been shown to be impaired if another cue, B, is separately paired with the same outcome in a second learning phase. The present study examined whether IbC could be caused by associative mechanisms independent of causal reasoning processes. This was achieved by testing participants in two different learning situations. In the Causal Scenario condition, participants learned in a diagnostic situation in which a common cause (Outcome 1) caused two disjoint effects, namely Cues A and B. In the Non-Causal Scenario condition, the same IbC design and stimulus conditions were used. However, instructions provided no causal frame to make sense of how cues and outcomes were related. IbC was only found in the Causal Scenario condition. This result is consistent with Causal Reasoning Models of causal learning and raises important difficulties for associative explanations of IbC.
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Review of the literature indicates that, according to theories of selective attention, learning about a stimulus depends on attending to that stimulus; this is represented in 2-stage models by saying that Ss switch in analyzers as well as learning stimulus-response associations. It is argued that this assumption, however, is equally well represented in a formal model by the incorporation of a stimulus-specific learning-rate parameter, a, into the equations describing changes in the associative strength of stimuli. Previous theories of selective attention have also assumed that (a) Ss learn to attend to and ignore relevant and irrelevant stimuli (i.e., that a may increase or decrease depending on the correlation of a stimulus with reinforcement); and (b) there is an inverse relationship between the probabilities of attending to different stimuli (i.e., that an increase in a to one stimulus is accompanied by a decrease in a to others). The first assumption has been used to explain the phenomena of acquired distinctiveness and dimensional transfer, the second to explain those of overshadowing and blocking. It is argued that although the first assumption is justified by the data, the second is not: Overshadowing and blocking are better explained by the choice of an appropriate rule for changing a, such that a decreases to stimuli that signal no change from the probability of reinforcement predicted by other stimuli. (65 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Most associative theories have assumed that stimulus competition occurs only between conditioned stimuli (CSs) that are trained in compound. The present research investigated the possibility of competition between two CSs that were individually paired to the same unconditioned stimulus (US). We used human subjects in an anticipatory suppression analogue to Pavlovian conditioning. Experiment 1 showed that X+ training followed by A+ training resulted in impaired responding to X. This did not occur when A+ training preceded X+ training. Experiment 2 replicated the basic effect and showed that it did not occur when the Phase 2 training consisted of A− instead of A+ nor when the A+ pairings occurred in a second context. Experiment 3 showed that A+ pairings occurring in a second context could still produce the effect when X was tested in the context in which the A+ pairings had occurred, but not when X was tested in a context different from that used for A+ training. Collectively, these results suggest that individually trained CSs may compete with each other when one of those CSs is more strongly activated by the test context than the other one.
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In Experiments 1 and 2, rats were exposed to two compound flavors, AX and BX, containing one flavor in common (X). Following this exposure phase, an aversion was conditioned to A in the experimental group by pairing its consumption with an injection of lithium, while a control group drank A without being poisoned. The effect of this treatment was to establish B as a conditioned inhibitor. In Experiment 1, experimental animals were slower than controls to condition an aversion to B when its consumption was paired with lithium (a retardation test of conditioned inhibition). In Experiment 2, B alleviated the suppression of intake of another flavor previously paired with lithium (a summation test). Experiments 3 and 4 established that these effects depended upon prolonged prior exposure to AX and BX.
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Conditioned suppression is a useful technique for assessing whether subjects have learned a CS-US association, but it is difficult to use in humans because of the need for an aversive US. The purpose of this research was to develop a non-aversive procedure that would produce suppression. Subjects learned to press the space bar of a computer as part of a video game, but they had to stop pressing whenever a visual US appeared, or they would lose points. In Experiment 1, we used an A+/B- discrimination design: The US always followed Stimulus A and never followed Stimulus B. Although no information about the existence of CSs was given to the subjects, suppression ratio results showed a discrimination learning curve-that is, subjects learned to suppress responding in anticipation of the US when Stimulus A was present but not during the presentations of Stimulus B. Experiment 2 explored the potential of this preparation by using two different instruction sets and assessing post-experimental judgements of CS A and CS B in addition to suppression ratios. The results of these experiments suggest that conditioned suppression can be reliably and conveniently used in the human laboratory, providing a bridge between experiments on animal conditioning and experiments on human judgements of causality.
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Four conditioned suppression experiments examined the influence of contextual stimuli on the rat's fear of an extinguished conditioned stimulus (CS). When rats received pairings of a CS with shock in one context and then extinction of the CS in another context, fear of the CS was renewed when the CS was returned to and tested in the original context (Experiments 1 and 3). No such renewal was obtained when the CS was tested in a second context after extinction had occurred in the conditioning context (Experiment 4). In Experiment 2, shocks presented following extinction reinstated fear of the CS, but only if they were presented in the context in which the CS was tested. In each experiment, the associative properties of the contexts were independently assessed. Contextual excitation was assessed primarily with context-preference tests in which the rats chose to sit in either the target context or an adjoining side compartment. Contextual inhibition was assessed with summation tests. Although reinstatement was correlated with demonstrable contextual excitation present during testing, the renewal effect was not. Moreover, there was no evidence that contextual inhibition developed during extinction. The results suggest that fear of an extinguished CS can be affected by the excitatory strength of the context but that independently demonstrable contextual excitation or inhibition is not necessary for contexts to control that fear.
Chapter
This chapter describes the potential explanatory power of a specific response rule and its implications for models of acquisition. This response rule is called the “comparator hypothesis.” It was originally inspired by Rescorla's contingency theory. Rescorla noted that if the number and frequency of conditioned stimulus–unconditioned stimulus (CS–US) pairings are held constant, unsignaled presentations of the US during training attenuate conditioned responding. This observation complemented the long recognized fact that the delivery of nonreinforced presentations of the CS during training also attenuates conditioned responding. The symmetry of the two findings prompted Rescorla to propose that during training, subjects inferred both the probability of the US in the presence of the CS and the probability of the US in the absence of the CS and they then established a CS–US association based upon a comparison of these quantities. The comparator hypothesis is a qualitative response rule, which, in principle, can complement any model of acquisition.
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Rats received Pavlovian pairings of conditioned stimuli (CSs) with discriminably different unconditioned stimuli (USs). The resulting CS-US associations, indexed by magazine entry, were subjected to extinction and to interference by pairing the CSs with other USs. Subsequent differential devaluation of the USs by pairing with LiCl revealed the continued presence of the CS-US associations despite these treatments.
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College students rated the causal efficacy of Elements X, A, and B of food compounds AX and BX in producing the allergic reaction of a hypothetical patient. The results of a 16-day allergy test were presented to subjects in a serial, trial-by-trial manner. The response format used was a running estimate, in which subjects were asked to rate all of the three foods after each of the 16 trials. Ratings of distinctive Elements A and B diverged and ratings of common Element X decreased as the difference in the correlation of AX and BX with the occurrence and nonoccurrence of the allergic reaction increased. These human causal judgments closely correspond with stimulus selection effects observed in the conditioned responses of animals in associative learning studies. The experiment also directly demonstrated the fact that significant changes in the causal ratings of a stimulus occur on trials in which the cue is not presented. Associative theories such as that of Rescorla and Wagner (1972) predict changes in associative strength only for those stimulus elements that are presented on a particular trial. A modification of the Rescorla-Wagner model is described that correctly predicts immediate changes in the associative strengths of all relevant cues on each trial—whether presented or not.
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In this article I review research and theory on the "interference paradigms" in Pavlovian learning. In these situations (e.g., extinction, counterconditioning, and latent inhibition), a conditioned stimulus (CS) is associated with different unconditioned stimuli (USs) or outcomes in different phases of the experiment; retroactive interference, proactive interference, or both are often observed. In all of the paradigms, contextual stimuli influence performance, and when information is available, so does the passage of time. Memories of both phases are retained, and performance may depend on which is retrieved. Despite the similarity of the paradigms, conditioning theories tend to explain them with separate mechanisms. They also do not provide an adequate account of the context's role, fail to predict the effects of time, and overemphasize the role of learning or storage deficits. By accepting 4 propositions about animal memory (i.e., contextual stimuli guide retrieval, time is a context, different memories are differentially dependent on context, and interference occurs at performance output), a memory retrieval framework can provide an integrated account of context, time, and performance in the various paradigms.
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Three experiments investigated whether a process akin to L. J. Kamin's (1969) blocking effect would occur with human contingency judgments in the context of a video game. 102 students were presented with sets of trials on each of which they could perform a particular action and observe whether the action produced a particular outcome in a situation in which there was an alternative potential cause of the outcome. Exp I showed that prior observation of the relationship between the alternative cause and the outcome did indeed block or reduce learning about the subsequent action-outcome relationship. However, exposure to the relationship between the alternative cause and the outcome after observing the association between the action and the outcome also reduced judgments of the action-outcome contingency (backward blocking), a finding at variance with conditioning theory. In Exp II, it was found that the degree of backward blocking depended on the predictive value of the alternative cause. Finally, Exp III showed that the backward blocking effect was not the result of greater forgetting about the action-outcome relationship in the experimental than in the control condition. Results cast doubt upon the applicability of contemporary theories of conditioning to human contingency judgment.
Article
Why is memory for a target event impaired by learning related events? Do related events change the trace for the target or hinder retrieval? Target names (e.g., Robert Harris) were shown; experimental items were followed by related names (e.g., Robert Knight) but control items were not. The given names and surnames of the targets were then provided for matching. At short (5–25 min) retention intervals, the control items were matched more accurately than were the experimental items. This retroactive interference (RI) decreased over a 30-min retention interval (Exp 2), suggesting that the related names did not cause a permanent change in the target trace. More RI occurred at the 30-min retention interval when the related names appeared just before the test (Exp 3). It appears that the related names must be accessed to interfere with retrieving the target. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Two experiments were conducted to test whether a renewal effect known to occur after extinction in many conditioning preparations can also be found in the conditioned taste aversion paradigm. Experiment 1 found that a taste aversion extinguished in a context different from the conditioning context was partially renewed when the taste was returned to the conditioning context. Extinction of the aversion proceeded similarly regardless of whether it occurred in the conditioning context or in a second context, suggesting that context–illness or context–taste associations that might have developed during conditioning did not influence performance, and that the flavor was perceived as the same stimulus in the two contexts. Experiment 2 examined the effects of the same context manipulations on flavors that had been explicitly unpaired with illness; no effects on flavor consumption were found. Taken together, the results suggest that the context might play the same modulatory role in taste aversion learning that it does in other conditioning procedures.
Article
The effect of an auditory cue presented during extinction on spontaneous recovery of a conditioned taste aversion was investigated in three experiments. Experiment 1 demonstrated that the presence of the cue during extinction did not influence saccharin consumption during that phase, and that an aversion to saccharin in the absence of the cue was stronger at 18 days than at 1 day after extinction, representing spontaneous recovery rather than a renewal effect. Experiment 2 showed that a cue presented during extinction and testing reduced spontaneous recovery. Experiment 3 replicated that effect and showed that it depended on the cue’s correlation with extinction and not on an unconditioned effect; cues that had been presented during or prior to conditioning did not reduce spontaneous recovery when presented during testing. The cue’s potential to reduce spontaneous recovery through conditioned inhibition or configural cue learning is discussed, as is the possibility that the cue retrieves a saccharin extinction memory in a manner consistent with Bouton’s (1993) account of spontaneous recovery.
Article
Three experiments with rat subjects examined the effects of contextual stimuli on performance in appetitive conditioning. A 10-sec tone conditioned stimulus (CS) was paired with a food-pellet unconditioned stimulus (US); conditioning was indexed by the observation of headjerking, a response of the rat to auditory stimuli associated with food. In Experiment 1, a context switch following initial conditioning did not affect conditioned responding to the tone; however, when the response was extinguished in the different context, a return to the original conditioning context “renewed” extinguished responding. These results were replicated in Experiments 2 and 3 after equating exposure to the two contexts (Experiment 2) and massing the conditioning and extinction trials (Experiment 3). The results of Experiment 1 also demonstrated that separate exposure to the US following extinction reinstates extinguished responding to the tone; this effect was further shown to depend at least partly on presenting the US in the context in which testing is to occur (Experiments 2 and 3). Overall, the results are consistent with previous data from aversive conditioning procedures. In either appetitive or aversive conditioning, the context may be especially important in affecting performance after extinction.
Article
Preexposure to two compound flavors (AX and BX) typically enhances their discriminability: An aversion conditioned to AX will generalize less to BX, especially if the preexposure regime has involved alternated presentations of AX and BX rather than presenting all AX trials before BX trials (or vice versa). One possible explanation of this finding is that alternating preexposure establishes inhibitory associations between the two unique features A and B, thus counteracting the generalization produced by excitatory associations between X and A and between X and B, which might result in either the retrieval of B on a conditioning trial to AX, or the retrieval of A on a test trial to BX. Three experiments on flavor aversion conditioning in rats tested these predictions. Experiment 1 suggested that the more important of these excitatory associations was that which allowed X to retrieve A on the test trial to BX. Experiment 2 suggested that the more important inhibitory association was that which allowed B to inhibit the representation of A on this test trial. Experiment 3 provided direct evidence of the role of this inhibitory B⊣A association.
Article
In four experiments using rats, a Pavlovian conditioned stimulus (CS) was paired with a positive outcome, either pellets or liquid sucrose. That outcome was then either omitted altogether or replaced by another outcome. Although performance to the CS deteriorated only when the outcome was omitted, both procedures resulted in the CS’s ability to evoke greater responding after the passage of time. These results suggest that a similar outcome-independent depressive process develops when a Pavlovian CS is paired either with nonreinforcement or with a different outcome; that process then appears to dissipate with time.
Article
Four experiments explored the increase in an instrumental response (R) with time after it had been subjected either to extinction or to training with a second outcome (O). Experiment 1 found less performance of an extinguished response immediately after extinction than after a 7-day delay (spontaneous recovery). Experiments 2–4 found a similar difference when training with a second outcome replaced extinction, despite the failure of that replacement to itself undermine performance. Similar results did not occur when the second outcome was identical to that used in initial training. These results suggest that training with a novel outcome generates a decremental process that is not directly observable but that dissipates with time.
Article
Rats received 15 pairings of a CS and shock in one context, and then a series of CS-alone trials in a second context. Even though this extinction procedure produced a complete loss of conditioned suppression, when the animals were returned to the site of original conditioning, suppression was renewed to a level comparable to that of animals that had not undergone extinction. Controls indicated that the renewed suppression was not due solely to pseudoconditioning, suggesting that the CS-US association had survived extinction. Renewed suppression was also demonstrated in a third context that was never associated with shock. Loss of suppression did not necessarily depend upon inhibitory conditioning of the extinction context. The data suggest that extinction of conditioned fear is specific to the context in which it occurs. They also suggest the possibility that animals might discriminate episodes in which a CS is reinforced and nonreinforced independently of the excitatory or inhibitory status of cues, like contextual stimuli, that are coincidentally present during those episodes.
Article
Recent research has shown that the acquisition of a second cue–outcome association can interfere with responding appropriate to a previously acquired association between another cue and the same outcome, even if the two cues had never received compound training (Matute & Pineño, 1998a). This is similar to other results in the paired-associate literature but it is problematic for associative theories of learning because all of them assume that compound training is necessary for cues to interfere with each other. However, given several assumptions, a recent revision of Wagner's (1981) SOP model proposed by Dickinson and Burke (1996) could account for most of the data available on interference between elementally trained cues. According to the modified SOP model, the target cue that is paired with the outcome during Phase 1 could acquire an inhibitory association with the outcome during the Phase 2 trials in which the interfering cue is trained and the target cue is absent. This inhibitory association could be responsible for the weak responding observed to the target cue during testing because it could interfere with the excitatory association acquired during Phase 1. If this is true, interference should be weaker as the number of Phase 2 interfering trials is reduced. However, the three experiments reported here show that interference can occur even when only one interfering trial is given during Phase 2. The results of these experiments, along with other results in the literature, add support to the idea that interference between elementally trained cues occurs during retrieval and that it is not due to the formation of inhibitory associations between an absent cue and the outcome.
Article
Four conditioned suppression experiments examined the influence of contextual stimuli on the rat's fear of an extinguished conditioned stimulus (CS). When rats received pairings of a CS with shock in one context and then extinction of the CS in another context, fear of the CS was renewed when the CS was returned to and tested in the original context (Experiments 1 and 3). No such renewal was obtained when the CS was tested in a second context after extinction had occurred in the conditioning context (Experiment 4). In Experiment 2, shocks presented following extinction reinstated fear of the CS, but only if they were presented in the context in which the CS was tested. In each experiment, the associative properties of the contexts were independently assessed. Contextual excitation was assessed primarily with context-preference tests in which the rats chose to sit in either the target context or an adjoining side compartment. Contextual inhibition was assessed with summation tests. Although reinstatement was correlated with demonstrable contextual excitation present during testing, the renewal effect was not. Moreover, there was no evidence that contextual inhibition developed during extinction. The results suggest that fear of an extinguished CS can be affected by the excitatory strength of the context but that independently demonstrable contextual excitation or inhibition is not necessary for contexts to control that fear.
Article
Part 1 of this discussion summarizes several formal models of exicitatory classical conditioning. It is suggested that a central problem for all of them is the explanation of cases in which learning does not occur in spite of the fact that the CS is a signal for the reinforcer. A new model is proposed that deals with this problem by specifying that certain procedures cause a CS to lose effectiveness; in particular, it is argued that a CS will lose associability when its consequences are accurately predicted. In contrast to other current models, the effectiveness of the reinforcer remains constant throughout conditioning. Part 2 presents a reformulation of the nature of the learning produced by inhibitory-conditioning procedures and a discussion of the way in which such learning can be accommodated within the model outlined for excitatory learning. (47 ref)
Article
In this article I review research and theory on the "interference paradigms" in Pavlovian learning. In these situations (e.g., extinction, counterconditioning, and latent inhibition), a conditioned stimulus (CS) is associated with different unconditioned stimuli (USs) or outcomes in different phases of the experiment; retroactive interference, proactive interference, or both are often observed. In all of the paradigms, contextual stimuli influence performance, and when information is available, so does the passage of time. Memories of both phases are retained, and performance may depend on which is retrieved. Despite the similarity of the paradigms, conditioning theories tend to explain them with separate mechanisms. They also do not provide an adequate account of the context's role, fail to predict the effects of time, and overemphasize the role of learning or storage deficits. By accepting 4 propositions about animal memory (i.e., contextual stimuli guide retrieval, time is a context, different memories are differentially dependent on context, and interference occurs at performance output), a memory retrieval framework can provide an integrated account of context, time, and performance in the various paradigms.
Article
Four experiments with rats in an appetitive conditioned magazine entry preparation examined spontaneous recovery after extinction. Spontaneous recovery was obtained 6 days but not 5 hr following extinction; recovery depended on the passage of time but not on the removal of a cue that was featured in extinction or on the reintroduction of early-session cues. A cue featured in extinction attenuated recovery when presented on the test. The attenuation effect depended on the cue's correlation with extinction; a cue featured in conditioning did not attenuate recovery. The extinction cue did not evoke responding on its own, suggesting that it was not a conditioned excitor. Retardation tests and a summation test did not reveal that it was a conditioned inhibitor. The cue might work by retrieving a memory of extinction. Spontaneous recovery thus occurs because the subject fails to retrieve an extinction memory. Other accounts of spontaneous recovery are discussed.
Article
The role of within-compound associations in the retrospective revaluation of causality judgements was investigated in a two-stage procedure in which the subjects were asked to learn whether or not different food stimuli caused an allergic reaction in hypothetical patients. In the compound-cue stage a number of compound cues, each consisting of a competing stimulus and a target stimulus, were associated with the reaction across a series of trials, whereas in the single-cue stage the subjects had the opportunity to learn which of the competing cues, when presented alone, caused the reaction. Each target stimulus was presented with the same competing cue across all compound trials in the consistent condition, but with a different competing cue on each trial in the varied condition. In a forward procedure, in which the single-cue stage preceded compound cue training, judgements of the causal effectiveness of the target stimuli were reduced or blocked by training them in compound with a competing cue that had been previously paired with the reaction. Moreover, the magnitude of this reduction was comparable in the consistent and varied conditions. This was not true, however, when the single- and compound-cue stages were reversed in the backward procedure. Judgements for target cues compounded with competing cues that were subsequently paired with the reaction were reduced only in the consistent condition. If it is assumed that stronger associations were formed between the competing and target stimuli during the compound-cue stage in the consistent condition than in the varied condition, this pattern suggests that the retrospective revaluation of causality judgements can be mediated by the formation of within-compound associations.
Article
Three experiments with rats examined retention interval and context switch effects factorially in the latent inhibition paradigm. In Experiment 1, a 28-day retention interval abolished a context switch effect on latent inhibition. In Experiment 2, re-exposure to the contexts before conditioning re-established the context switch effect at the 28-day interval. In this case, the retention interval and context switch effects were additive: Latent inhibition was weakest when the retention interval and context switch were combined. Experiment 3 replicated the context switch effect at the 28-day interval. The results suggest that context switch and retention interval effects may be based on the same process. Context switch effects may weaken over time because physical contexts are embedded in superordinate temporal contexts; animals fail to retrieve physical context when the temporal context changes. This view helps resolve a paradox that has been noted for contextual change theories of forgetting.
Article
The percentage frequency of CRs during acquisition was a function of the percentage of reinforced trials. During extinction the groups with the lower percentages of reinforcement showed significantly more resistance to extinction than those with higher percentages of reinforcement. During the spontaneous recovery test the groups with the lower percentages of reinforcement again showed the greatest resistance to extinction. The results were discussed in terms of Estes' stimulus variability learning model and Hull's behavior theory. 19 refs.
A behavioural preparation for the study of human Pavlovian conditioning The role of inhibi-tory associations in perceptual learning
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The comparator hypothesis: A response rule for the expression of associations The psychology of learning and motiva-tion Interference between elementally trained stimuli can take place in one trial
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