Blocking by fixed and variable stimuli: Effects of stimulus distribution on blocking

Dómhnall J. Jennings, Charlotte Bonardi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An experiment with rats compared the ability of fixed and variable duration cues to produce blocking. Rats in group B (Blocking) were trained that both fixed- (F) and variable- (V) duration cues would be followed by food delivery. In a subsequent training stage F and V continued to be reinforced, but F was accompanied by X, and V by Y. In the test phase responding to X and Y was examined. Control group O (Overshadowing) received identical treatment, except that F and V were nonreinforced in the first training stage. In group B there was evidence for blocking, but only of X, which had been conditioned in compound with the fixed-duration F; there was no evidence for blocking of Y, which had been conditioned in compound with the variable-duration V. It is suggested that this result may occur because fixed cues reach a higher, more stable asymptote of associative strength than do their variable equivalents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1964-1972
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Volume70
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 02 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Associative learning
  • Blocking
  • Rats
  • Stimulus distribution form
  • Timing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Physiology (medical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Blocking by fixed and variable stimuli: Effects of stimulus distribution on blocking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this