Two types of behavioral contrast in discrimination learning

Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
T M Bloomfield

Abstract

Two groups of pigeons received daily discrimination training at two values on a line-tilt continuum. S+ (VI 1) and S- (EXT) intervals alternated, and a 30-sec criterion of no responding to S- was required before S+ returned. Rates of responding to S+ showed two separate contrast effects: at an intermediate stage of training a high peak rate appeared which declined, later in training, to a stable level still in excess of the VI baseline rate. The peak rate was correlated with the total number of responses to S-, while the final rate was not; suggesting that the peak rate and final rate may not be functions of the same variable. These results were compared with performance on a red-green discrimination where the two stages were not so clear. A line-tilt discrimination was repeated with fixed length S- intervals terminated by TO, and showed the same contrast magnitude in the final rate without any peak. The peak rate was interpreted as an effect of the ;punishment' contingency where responding to S- prolongs S- for 30 sec, while the final rate was taken to be analogous to previous demonstrations of contrast.

References

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Related Concepts

Aves
Discrimination Learning
Punishment
Psychological Reinforcement

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