Spatial contiguity facilitates Pavlovian second-order conditioning

Robert A. Rescorla, Christopher Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

94 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two experiments investigated the effects of spatial contiguity upon the formation of 2nd-order conditioning in female Carneaux pigeons. Exp I (n = 12) used an autoshaping procedure to pair 2 visual stimuli, S2 and S1, after S1 had previously been paired with food. The resulting 2nd-order conditioning of S2 was superior when both stimuli appeared on the same response key within a trial than on different keys. Exp II (n = 24) found a similar importance of spatial contiguity between S2 and S1 in a conditioned suppression paradigm. In addition, consistently presenting S2 and S1 in the same spatial location produced superior conditioning compared with varying their spatial relation from trial to trial. The design of these experiments was such as to imply that spatial contiguity facilitates performance by improving the formation of associations rather than by promoting stimulus generalization of pseudoconditioning. Moreover, the observation of a facilitative effect of spatial contiguity between S1 and S2 in 2 different paradigms that use a qualitatively different UCS and evokes different responses implies some generality for the findings. Consequently, results suggest that spatially contiguous stimuli are especially associable in Pavlovian conditioning paradigms. (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-161
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1979
Externally publishedYes

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conditioned behavior
conditioning
Stimulus Generalization
pigeons
visual cue
Columbidae
experimental design
experiment
Observation
Food
food
Conditioning (Psychology)
trial
effect

Keywords

  • appearance of both CS1 &
  • CS2 on same vs different keys in autoshaping vs suppression, 2nd-order Pavlovian conditioning, pigeons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Spatial contiguity facilitates Pavlovian second-order conditioning. / Rescorla, Robert A.; Cunningham, Christopher.

In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, Vol. 5, No. 2, 04.1979, p. 152-161.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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