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Classical conditioning. Sensitization, habituation, pseudoconditioning, and background conditioning S-S vs S-R theories...or is it something else?. Classical conditioning phenomena. Human conditioning studies Eyeblink conditioning Lemon-drop salivation conditioning Little Albert

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classical conditioning

Classical conditioning

Sensitization, habituation, pseudoconditioning, and background conditioning

S-S vs S-R theories...or is it something else?

classical conditioning phenomena
Classical conditioning phenomena
  • Human conditioning studies
    • Eyeblink conditioning
    • Lemon-drop salivation conditioning
    • Little Albert
    • Typical acquisition and extinction curves
    • Optimal CS-US intervals are 200 – 700 ms
    • GSR conditioning has a 3 – 5 second interval
cs sensitization
(CS) Sensitization
  • In typical classical conditioning experiments, CS reliably precedes US: Contingency exists.
  • If contingency is not present, people will still come to respond to the CS as they experience the US: Sensitization.
  • Thus, sensitization to repeated presentations of the CS will produce responses that only look like conditioned responses.
  • Sensitization also occurs to repeated presentation of strong USs.
assessing sensitization
Assessing sensitization
  • Compare two experimental conditions (groups) to see if response is a CR or a sensitization response.
    • Condition 1: CS reliably predicts US
    • Condition 2: CS occurs just as frequently, but does not reliably predict US
  • Could the Little Albert results be explained as sensitization? Was there a control condition?
  • Could sensitization explain why some students prefer to study with music playing?
  • UR magnitude decreases as US is presented repeatedly.
  • Habituation is less likely with stronger USs
  • Both sensitization and habituation show learning has taken place, but it is nonassociative learning.
  • Both may interfere with associative learning.
sniffy details
Sniffy details
  • Sniffy is programmed to habituate to low-intensity shock USs, to sensitize to high-intensity shock USs, and to remain stable under moderate-intensity shock USs.
  • Sniffy output includes
    • Pain (mid-level unless sensitizing or habituating)
    • Fear, a result of conditioning or US presentation
    • CS response strength to various CSs, including the background (cage)
    • Movement ratio, measuring classical conditioning of fear
    • Suppression ratio, measuring effect on operant responding
    • The cumulative record of stimulus presentation and bar-press responses. Ignore this until we start operant conditioning.
us pseudoconditioning
(US) Pseudoconditioning
  • Repeated presentations of a US may increase the likelihood of responding (with the UR) to any novel stimulus, even if it is not paired with the US as a CS.
  • Little Albert’s apparent conditioning to the rat CS may have been an artefact of the repeated loud noise US: pseudoconditioning.
assessing pseudoconditioning
Assessing pseudoconditioning
  • Kimble, Mann & Dufort (1955): Human eyeblink conditioning
    • Group 1: 60 paired trials of light CS with airpuff US
    • Group 2: 20 paired trials, 20 US-only trials, 20 paired trials
    • Response patterns were the same in the last 20 trials.
    • The result cannot be due to associative learning in the middle 20 trials.
  • Test pseudoconditioning with unpaired control.
background conditioning
Background conditioning
  • When the US is too strong to habituate, the US may become associated with the context or background of the learning situation.
  • Thus, in background conditioning, the individual associates the shock with the setting, such as the conditioning chamber.
conditioned inhibition
Conditioned inhibition
  • Inhibition develops in extinction (Pavlov)
  • Reactive inhibition (Hull) develops in repeated responding
  • Inhibition may be conditioned (Pavlov)
  • Training:
    • CS1(metronome)  US(food)
    • CS1(metronome) + CS2 (whistle)  No US
testing conditioned inhibition
Testing conditioned inhibition
  • CS1 (metronome)  CR(salivation)
  • CS1(metronome) + CS2(whistle)  No CR
  • Then, the summation test:
  • Train with a new CS:
    • CS3(touch nose) US(food)
  • Test response to CS2 + CS3?
  • Less responding: Conditioned inhibition.
classical conditioning theory
Classical conditioning theory
  • Watch Pavlov’s experiments.
  • If conditioning does involve association, what is being associated?
    • CS and US?
    • CS and UR/CR?
    • Is the learning S – S or S – R?
s s vs s r theories what is associated
S-S vs . S-R theories: What is associated?
  • Response prevention
    • Learning phase: CS + US  no UR
    • Testing phase: CS  CR
  • US devaluation
    • Learning phase: CS + US  CR/UR
    • Next, devalue the US through satiation
    • Test phase: CS  lessened CR
classical conditioning theory1
Classical conditioning theory
  • S-S or S-R theories, continued:
  • Sensory preconditioning
    • Preconditioning phase: CS1 + CS2 OR
    • Conditioning phase: CS1 + US  UR
    • Test phase: CS1 CR.
    • CS2 ?
  • Response-prevention, US devaluation, and sensory preconditioning support S - S theory
s s or s r
S - S or S - R ?
  • Second-order conditioning
    • Start with standard pairing of CS1 and US
    • CS1 CR
    • Then pair CS1 + CS2
    • Test: CS2  CR
    • Then devalue US, or extinguish CS1
    • Test: CS2 CR
  • Whether CS connects to US or CR depends on which is more salient
a crucial test
A crucial test
  • Set up a second-order conditioning experiment:
    • CS1(light) + US1 (food)  UR1(salivation)
    • Test: CS1 (light)  CR1 (salivation)
    • CS2(buzzer) + CS1(light)  CR1(salivation)
    • Test: CS2 (buzzer)  CR1 (salivation)
    • Then: CS1 (light) + US2(shock)  UR2(leg lift) (Counterconditioning)
    • Test: CS2


changing representations
Changing representations
  • Covert conditioning
    • Autoshaping: Light + Food  Key peck
    • But start with Tone + Food  No key peck
    • Pair Tone + light in 2nd order conditioning
      • Autoshaping occurs
    • Supports S-S
  • US devaluation also shows changing representations.
one more second order experiment
One more second-order experiment
  • First autoshape all pigeons to peck at a lighted key CS1, which is sometimes red, sometimes yellow.
  • CR is the key peck.
  • Add CS2 of either vertical or horizontal lines on lighted key.
  • One group then has simple CS1-CS2 pairings (red-vertical and yellow-horizontal), while the other group has complex pairings (sometimes red-vertical, sometimes red-horizontal, etc.).
  • Thus, group 1 has two trial types, and group 2 has four trial types.
  • S-S theory thus predicts better learning for group 1.
  • That is what happens.
pavlov s studies
Pavlov’s studies
  • This video clip, a reenactment, shows Pavlov’s methods for
  • Measurement of UR and the salivary reflex
  • Discovery of classical conditioning
  • Testing different CSs