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The 36th Sir Frederick Bartlett Lecture: An associative analysis of spatial learning

Pearce, John Martindale 2009. The 36th Sir Frederick Bartlett Lecture: An associative analysis of spatial learning. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 62 (9) , pp. 1665-1684. 10.1080/17470210902805589

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The ability of animals to find important goals in their environment has been said to require a form of learning that is qualitatively different from that normally studied in the conditioning laboratory. Such spatial learning has been said to depend upon the construction of a global representation of the environment, and the acquisition of knowledge about the position of goals with reference to this representation is said to be unaffected by the presence of other cues or landmarks. To evaluate the first of these claims, experiments are described that investigated the extent to which the effects of training in one environment transfer to another. To evaluate the second claim, experiments are described that investigated whether cue competition effects normally found in conditioning studies can be found in spatial tasks. Overall, the results indicate that most of the phenomena of spatial learning can be explained by the principles of associative learning. The implications of the reported results for an understanding of the neural mechanisms of spatial learning are considered.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Spatial learning, Geometric module, Cue competition, Cognitive maps
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1747-0218
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:01

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