Control of observing by antecedent stimuli

  • Blanchard R
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Abstract

Five pigeons were run on a one-key discrete trials observing procedure. Trial onset was signaled by a white or yellow key light. Pecks in white or yellow intermittently produced S+and S-, green and red key lights that signaled whether the trial would end with response-independent grain reinforcement or nonreinforcement. In the Redundant conditions, white and yellow were correlated with trial outcome, making S+and S-redundant. In the Informative condition, white and yellow were uncorrelated with trial outcome, so that S+and S-provided new information. During the Informative condition, all birds responded in the formerly positive, now uncorrelated color at higher rates than they did during the preceding or succeeding Redundant conditions, in which that same color was positively correlated with primary reinforcement. This result confirmed the prediction that an animal will observe at higher rates in the absence of reinforcement-correlated cues than in their presence. © 1977.

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Authors

  • Ray Blanchard

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