ERIC Number: EJ1172021
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Evidence of Structure and Persistence in Motivational Attraction to Serial Pavlovian Cues
Smedley, Elizabeth B.; Smith, Kyle S.
Learning & Memory, v25 n2 p78-89 Feb 2018
Sign-tracking is a form of autoshaping where animals develop conditioned responding directed toward stimuli predictive of an outcome even though the outcome is not contingent on the animal's behavior. Sign-tracking behaviors are thought to arise out of the attribution of incentive salience (i.e., motivational value) to reward-predictive cues. It is not known how incentive salience would be attributed to serially occurring cues, despite cues often occurring in a sequence in the real world as reward approaches. The experiments presented here demonstrate that reward-proximal cue responding is not altered by the presence of a distal reward cue (Experiment 1), and similarly that reward-distal cue responding which animals favor, is not altered by the presence of a reward-proximal cue (Experiment 2). Extinction of reward-proximal cues after training of the serial sequence leads to a generalized reduction in lever responding (Experiment 3). Together, we show that both Pavlovian serial lever cues acquire motivational value. These experiments also provide support to the notion that sign-tracking responses are insensitive to changes in outcome value, and that responding to serial cues creates a distinct context for outcome value.
Descriptors: Cues, Rewards, Persistence, Responses, Incentives, Serial Learning, Experiments, Animals, Classical Conditioning
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
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