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ERIC Number: EJ862942
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-5002
Within-Subject Reversibility of Discriminative Function in the Composite-Stimulus Control of Behavior
Weiss, Stanley J.; Kearns, David N.; Antoshina, Maria
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, v92 n3 p367-377 Nov 2009
According to the composite-stimulus control model (Weiss, 1969, 1972b), an individual discriminative stimulus (S[superscript D]) is composed of that S[superscript D]'s on-state plus the off-states of all other relevant S[superscript D]s. The present experiment investigated the reversibility of composite-stimulus control. Separate groups of rats were trained to lever-press for food whenever a tone or a light S[superscript D] was present. For one group, the nonreinforced S[superscript delta] condition was tone-and-light absence. Tone-plus-light was S[superscript delta] in the other group. On a "stimulus compounding" test that recombined composite elements, maximum responding occurred to that composite consisting only of elements occasioning response increase. That was the presence of tone + light for the group trained with absence of tone + absence of light as S[superscript delta] and absence of tone + absence of light for the group trained with tone plus light S[superscript delta]. The S[superscript delta] composite was next reversed over groups in Phase 2. In Phase 2 tests, maximum responding that was comparable in magnitude to that of Phase 1 was again controlled by the composite consisting only of elements most recently occasioning response increase--whether the presence of both tone + light or the absence of both tone + light. The inhibitory conditioning history of both composite-elements currently occasioning responding did not weaken the summative effect. These results confirm and extend Weiss's composite-stimulus control model, and demonstrate that such control is fully reversible. We discuss how translating conditions of the stimulus-compounding paradigm to a composite continuum creates a functional and logical connection to intradimensional control measured through stimulus generalization, reducing the number of different behavioral phenomena requiring unique explanations. (Contains 3 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A