Pavlov’s dog

Pavlov presented dogs with a ringing bell followed by food.

«<The food elicited salivation (UR), and after repeated bell-food pairings the bell also caused the dogs to salivate.»> [NB]

«<In this experiment,

– the unconditioned stimulus is the dog food as

– it produces an unconditioned response, saliva.»> [NB]

«<The conditioned stimulus is the ringing bell and

it produces a conditioned response of the dogs producing saliva.»> [NB] [without mediation via food] [NB][…]

«<It was originally thought that the process underlying classical conditioning was one where the conditioned stimulus [ringing bell] becomes {associated} with, and eventually elicits, the unconditioned response [saliva].»>

But many observations do not support this hypothesis.

«<For example, the conditioned response is often quite different from the unconditioned response.»>

Learning theorists now more commonly suggest that the CS comes to {signal} or {predict} the US.

«<In the case of the salivating dogs in Pavlov’s experiment, the bell tone signaled and predicted the arrival of the dog food, thus resulting in the dog salivating.»>[Shettleworth, Sara J.(2010) ‘’Cognition, Evolution, and Behavior (2nd Ed)’’ Oxford Univ. Press][…]

Robert A. Rescorla provided a clear summary of this change in thinking, and its consequences, in his 1988 article “Pavlovian conditioning: It’s not what you think it is.”[Rescorla, Robert A. (1988) American Psychologist, 43, 151-160.]

via: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_conditioning

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