ERIC Number: EJ1172023
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Prepared Stimuli Enhance Aversive Learning without Weakening the Impact of Verbal Instructions
Atlas, Lauren Y.; Phelps, Elizabeth A.
Learning & Memory, v25 n2 p100-104 Feb 2018
Fear-relevant stimuli such as snakes and spiders are thought to capture attention due to evolutionary significance. Classical conditioning experiments indicate that these stimuli accelerate learning, while instructed extinction experiments suggest they may be less responsive to instructions. We manipulated stimulus type during instructed aversive reversal learning and used quantitative modeling to simultaneously test both hypotheses. Skin conductance reversed immediately upon instruction in both groups. However, fear-relevant stimuli enhanced dynamic learning, as measured by higher learning rates in participants conditioned with images of snakes and spiders. Results are consistent with findings that dissociable neural pathways underlie feedback-driven and instructed aversive learning.
Descriptors: Fear, Stimuli, Hypothesis Testing, Visual Stimuli, Classical Conditioning, Responses, Animals, Learning, Learning Processes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
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