Animal Cognition: Proceedings of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Conference, June 2-4, 1982

By H. L. Roitblat; T. G. Bever et al. | Go to book overview

emotional or motivational states. Consequently, he Proposed that omission of expected food and the presentation of shock may excite some common representation, different from that activated by the omission of expected shock and the presentation of food. Behavioral findings (see, for example, Dickinson & Dearing, 1979) indicate that appropriate reciprocal relations do seem to exist between these opposed motivational systems. Nevertheless, we lack any deep empirical and theoretical analyses of how event nonoccurrence might be effectively encoded by animals and humans -- a gap in our knowledge that demands some filling in the future.


V. CONCLUDING COMMENTS

This chapter examined several phenomena collectively linked by their apparent reliance on stimulus absence as a basis for effective learning or performance. Pavlovian trace conditioning with a long unfilled gap between CS and US was successful only when this empty interval was made informative by clearly differentiating it from other segments of conditioning trials, especially the intertrial interval. Studies of the feature-positive effect revealed that, under a variety of discrimination arrangements, animal and human subjects perform considerably better when the presence of some specific feature of a compound stimulus is the signal for a positive event than when absence of the feature signals the positive event. This asymmetry in the way positive and negative information are processed in our specific experiments may arise via different mechanisms for animals vs. humans, because post-training assays revealed that our FN pigeons had apparently learned about the relation between feature presence and nonreinforcoment even though they did not perform appropriately during actual discrimination learning sessions. On the other hand, humans were unlikely to identify the distinguishing feature when it appeared only on negative trials. In our tasks, the pigeon's deficit was presumably one of performance, not learning or detection, whereas the human's difficulty lay in discovery of the relevant cue.

Of course, one should not infer that pigeons "learn" FN discriminations and identify visual features better than human beings. The exact nature of any possible species difference requires considerable research designed to arrange more comparable tasks (e.g., types of features, the consequences on negative trials) and a variety of performance assays, including those associated with extinction and discrimination reversal procedures. Successful human subjects seem to formulate a rather flexible, verbal rule that enables them to quickly learn a reversal of the original discrimination. In contrast, pigeons do not show analogous transfer; they appear unduly controlled by characteristics of and relations between particular external stimuli.

I briefly discussed some issues pertinent to the conceptualization and potential encoding of "absence," and mentioned the possibility that organisms capable of learning may possess a predisposition to more easily form and/or utilize associations between the occurrences of two events than between the nonoccurrence of one event and the occurrence of another. Whether or not this broad speculation is warranted, trace

-328-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Animal Cognition: Proceedings of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Conference, June 2-4, 1982
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 684

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.