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Acquired distinctiveness is controlled by stimulus relevance not correlation with reward

George, David Noel and Pearce, John Martindale 1999. Acquired distinctiveness is controlled by stimulus relevance not correlation with reward. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes 25 (3) , pp. 363-373. 10.1037/0097-7403.25.3.363

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In 2 experiments, the relationship between the role of a stimulus in signaling trial outcome and the attention paid to it was investigated. In Exp 1, an intradimensional–extradimensional shift effect was shown in pigeons using autoshaping. In Exp 2, pigeons were trained with a biconditional discrimination, using stimulus compounds varying on 3 dimensions (color, orientation, and position), 2 of which were relevant to the solution of the discrimination, and 1 of which was irrelevant. Acquisition of a subsequent biconditional discrimination was more rapid if the same stimulus dimensions were relevant to the solution of both discriminations than if a previously irrelevant discrimination became relevant. These results indicate that the amount of attention paid to a stimulus is determined by its relevance to the solution of a discrimination, and not by its correlation with reward.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: American Psychological Association
ISSN: 0097-7403
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:11

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