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Classical conditioning/
Pavlovian Conditioning

Refers to a form of learning in which one stimulus predicts an upcoming event

ex.: doorbell predicts the delivery of food


Unconditioned stimulus

Refers to a stimulus that evokes a response naturally

--> occur unconditionally without prior training

ex.: FOOD --> evokes hunger


Unconditioned response

Refers to a natural response to the natural occurring stimulus (US)

--> occur unconditionally without prior training

ex.: food --> HUNGER


Conditioned stimulus

Refers to a cue that is paired with an US and comes to elicit a conditioned response (CR)

ex.: BELL --> food


Conditioned response

Refers to a trained response to a CS in anticipation of the US

ex.: SALIVATION --> in anticipation of food


Appetitive conditioning

Refers to conditioning in which the US is a POSITIVE event

--> learning to predict something that satisfies a desire or appetite

ex.: food, sex


Aversive conditioning

Refers to conditioning in which the US is a NEGATIVE event

--> learning to avoid or minimize the consequence of an expected aversive event

ex.: shocks etc


Sexual conditioning in male Quails

Male quails were conditioned to approach + remain near a light (CS) which was associated with access through a door to a sexually receptive female (US)


Odor Conditioning in flies

Flies were first put in a container with an odor were they were shocked, then in a container with another odor where they weren't shocked

--> they were then placed in a container with both odors to the left and to the right


Eyeblink conditioning

Presenting a tone which ultimately predicts an air puff to the eye.
This elicits an anticipatory defensive response by blinking the eyes before the arrival of the air puff

--> aversive conditioning


In which way is the eye blink being an UR different from being a CR ?

The learned CR takes place BEFORE the onset of the US, therefore protecting the eye from the air puff

--> the UR would take place AFTER the arrival of the US, as one wouldn't be expecting the US


Conditioned compensatory responses

Refers to an automatic response that the body experiences + that is opposite of the effects of the drug to reach a state of HOMEOSTASIS

--> elicited by situational cues (CS)
--> partially mediate

a) tolerance
b) withdrawal distress
c) relapse



Refers to a decrease in reaction to a drug, so that larger doses are required to achieve the same effect



Refers to the process of reducing a learned response to a stimulus by ceasing to pair the stimulus with a reward/punishment

--> even though one might not respond to the CS, the learned response isn't gone, just unexpressed

ex.: stop delivering food when bell is rung


What is evidence for the fact that the original CR isn't lost during extinction ?

1. If a long time passes before new testing, one will react with the old CR when presented with CS

2. Previously extinguished CS is learned more rapidly than a novel CS


Compound conditioning

Refers to conditions when 2 cues occur simultaneously in a conditioning experiment, and therefore compete with each other



Effect that occurs when a more salient cue within a compound acquires more association, and is therefore more strongly conditioned due to

a) salience
b) temporal priority

--> assuming cues are both valuable in info


Blocking effect

Classical conditioning occurs only when a cue is both a useful + nonredundant predictor of the future

ex.: if I have Doris to predict the stock market correctly, I don't need Hermann to do the same
--> I will therefore ignore him, no learning


Which characteristics does a stimulus have to have in order to become associated with a US ?

a) reliable

b) useful

c) bonredundant


Rescorla-Wagner model

States that changes in the CS-US associations on a trial are driven by the Prediction error

expects that CS-US association increases proportional to the degree that the US is surprising

--> the larger the error, the greater the learning

Occurrence of US – Expectation of US based on CS


Prediction Error

Refers to the difference between what was predicted and what actually occurred


Error correction learning

Method in which the errors on each trial lead to small changes in performance that seek to reduce the error on the next trial


Associative weight

Refers to a value representing the strength of association between the cue/CS and the US

--> CSs in a compound experiment will compete for associative weight

=> "How good can I associate/ predict a US by the use of CS ?"


Blocking in the Rescorla-Wagner model

1. Repeated pairing of a tine with the air puff

2. Presenting the tone + light with the air puff
--> blink in response due to output of tone

BUT: output of light remains 0.0 as tone already predict air puff perfectly, is therefore sufficient

3. Presenting light alone will result in no blink response, due to no learning


Contingency of the potential CS + US
Why is it important ?

Refers to the degree of correlation between CS + US

--> if US occurs just a s often without the tone as it does in the presence of the tone, little - no conditioning will occur


Experimental chamber

Refers to the context/ background stimuli that are relatively constant on all trials

ex.: sound, smell, feelings


Latent inhibition

Refers to a reduction on learning about a stimulus (CS) to which there has been prior exposure without any consequence

--> impaired learning following cue pre exposure
--> contradicts Rescorla-Wagner model

ex.: Bell without food being delivered


US modulation theory

States that the manner in which the US is processed determines what stimuli become associated with the US

ex.: Rescorla-Wagner model


CS modulation theory

States that the way ATTENTION to different CSs is modulated (increased/decreased) determines which of them become associated

--> paying attention to one stimulus diminishes our ability to attend to others



Involved in coordinating motor activities + learning new motor skills

--> small lesions can permanently prevent the acquisition of new classically conditioned responses