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Associative changes in elements and compounds when the other is reinforced

, : Associative changes in elements and compounds when the other is reinforced. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Animal Behavior Processes 25(2): 247-255

Four experiments investigated the symmetry of associative changes in stimulus compounds and elements in a Pavlovian conditioned magazine-approach situation with rats. Experiment 1 used multiple groups to examine the associative changes in a conditioned element (A) as a result of its subsequent reinforcement in compound with a neutral X. These were compared with the changes in an AX compound when one of its elements (A) was subsequently reinforced alone. Although reinforcing A enhanced responding to the AX compound, compared with a control compound, reinforcing AX failed to enhance responding to A, compared with a control element. Experiments 2 and 3 made similar comparisons in a fully within-subject design, finding greater changes in a previously trained AX compound when A was subsequently conditioned than in a B element when BY was subsequently conditioned. Experiment 4 found associative decrements in A when it was reinforced in the presence of a moderately conditioned X. The results observed in each of these experiments are more consistent with an elemental model of conditioning than with a recently proposed configural model.


PMID: 10331923

DOI: 10.1037/0097-7403.25.2.247

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