Convergent results in eyeblink conditioning and contingency learning in humans: addition of a common cue does not affect feature-negative discriminations


Thorwart, Anna, Glautier, Steven and Lachnit, Harald (2010) Convergent results in eyeblink conditioning and contingency learning in humans: addition of a common cue does not affect feature-negative discriminations. Biological Psychology, 85, (2), 207-212. (doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2010.07.002). (PMID:20638441).

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Description/Abstract

Previous human discrimination learning experiments with eyeblink conditioning showed that an increase in the similarity between the to-be-discriminated stimuli had no effect on the rate of learning. This result was at variance with data from other experiments which had used different paradigms and different stimulus materials. We therefore compared human discrimination learning in eyeblink conditioning and contingency learning using carefully matched procedures. Participants learned two feature-negative discriminations, A+/AB− and CD+/CDE−. Convergent results were obtained in both paradigms. Adding a common cue did not affect response differentiation, i.e. the A+/AB− discrimination and the CD+/CDE− discriminations were equivalent. These results support the notion that learning in both paradigms is based on the same principles. However, the overall pattern of results cannot be easily accommodated within associative learning theories based on the Rescorla–Wagner Model or on Pearce's Configural Model. The application of these models to current and previous data is discussed.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0301-0511 (print)
Keywords: eyeblink conditioning, associative learning, contingency learning
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Psychology > Division of Cognition
ePrint ID: 182291
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2011 10:53
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 19:35
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/182291

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