Is reasoning in rats really unreasonable? Revisiting recent associative accounts

Guez, David, and Stevenson, Greg (2011) Is reasoning in rats really unreasonable? Revisiting recent associative accounts. Frontiers in Psychology, 2. 277. pp. 1-5.

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[Extract] Beckers et al. (2006) published intriguing results, obtained in the rat fear conditioning paradigm, challenging classical associativist theories of learning. One of the main findings of Beckers et al. (2006) is that what they called subadditive pretraining abolished the expression of blocking (see Table 1; Figure 1), an effect that Beckers et al. (2005) had previously demonstrated in Human subjects. Beckers et al. (2006) contended that it was difficult to see how an associative account of this interesting phenomenon could be put forward. Recently, Haselgrove (2010) has put forward an associative account of this phenomenon based on the Rescorla-Wagner model (Rescorla and Wagner, 1972). This associative account is based on the idea of a common element (p) shared by the cues A, B, C, D, E, and X resulting in the presentation of compound trials for each elemental cue presentation i.e., ap, bp, cp, dp, ep, xp, and cdp¹ for the compound CD (where a, b, c, d, e, and x represent the element that distinguished the cues used). This assumption was based on the fact that five of the six cues used were drawn from the same auditory modality, and the purported failure by Beckers et al. (2006) to demonstrate that "the cues used in pretraining and those used for blocking were represented by the rats as entirely different stimuli."

Item ID: 45629
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1664-1078
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© 2011 Guez and Stevenson. This is an open-access article subject to a non-exclusive license between the authors and Frontiers Media SA, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and other Frontiers conditions are complied with.

This article was submitted to Frontiers in Comparative Psychology, a specialty of Frontiers in Psychology.

Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2017 22:34
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