Learning and Memory: The Behavioral and Biological Substrates

By Isidore Gormezano; Edward A. Wasserman | Go to book overview

sponse expectancy cues can also facilitate short-term retention (e.g., Chatlosh & Wasserman, 1987; Honig & Dodd, 1983; Honig & Wasserman, 1981; Smith, 1967; for an alternative explanation under successive discrimination procedures, see Urcuioli & Zentall, 1990). And, it is likely that anticipation of other trial characteristics, such as the duration of the retention interval ( Wasserman, Grosch, & Nevin, 1982), influence discriminative performance as well (for a review, see Honig & Dodd, 1986). All these anticipatory mechanisms presumably reflect prospective memory processes.

Thus, we are no longer inquiring whether short-term memory is a prospective or a retrospective process. Clearly, both memory mechanisms are important to delayed discrimination performance. Indeed, as others have suggested (e.g., Grant, 1982; Urcuioli & Zentall, 1986), it is probable that animals, like people, are flexible information processors and that they use the most reliable and simple means available to remember significant stimuli. Therefore, the task that lies ahead involves specifying the conditions that give rise to each individual memory process or to both memory processes. Although we may or may not ultimately determine that one process is more important than the other, we must surely conclude that animal short-term memory is much more flexible and complex than was once thought.


REFERENCES

Bolles R. C. ( 1972). "Reinforcement, expectancy, and learning". Psychological Review, 79, 394- 409.

Brodigan D. L., & Peterson G. B. ( 1976). "Two-choice conditional discrimination performance of pigeons as a function of reward expectancy, prechoice delay, and domesticity". Animal Learning and Behavior, 4, 121-124.

Carlson J. G., & Wielkiewicz R. M. ( 1972). "Delay of reinforcement in instrumental discrimination learning of rats". Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 81, 365-370.

Carlson J. G., & Wielkiewicz R. M. ( 1976). "Mediators of the effects of magnitude of reinforcement". Learning and Motivation, 7, 184-196.

Carter D. E., & Eckerman D. A. ( 1975). "Symbolic matching by pigeons: Rate of learning complex discriminations predicted from simple discriminations". Science, 187, 662-664.

Chatlosh D. L., & Wasserman E. A. ( 1987). "Delayed temporal discrimination in pigeons: A comparison of two procedures". Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 47, 299-309.

Cohen L. R., Looney T. A., Brady J. H., & Aucella A. F. ( 1976). "Differential sample response schedules in the acquisition of conditional discriminations by pigeons". Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 26, 301-314.

DeLong R. E., & Wasserman E. A. ( 1981). "Effects of differential reinforcement expectancies on successive matching-to-sample performance in pigeons". Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 7. 394-412.

Edwards C. A., Jagielo J. A., Zentall T. R., & Hogan D. E. ( 1982). "Acquired equivalence and distinctiveness in matching to sample by pigeons: Mediation by reinforcer-specific expectancies". Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 8. 244-259.

Farthing G. W., Wagner J. M., Gilmour S., & Waxman H. M. ( 1977). "Short-term memory and information processing in pigeons". Learning and Motivation, 8, 520-532.

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