Theses Bachelor's

Time and Inhibitory Learning

Cannizzaro, Daniela

Associative theories of learning state that an organism acquires new behaviors when associations are formed between a Conditioned Stimulus (CS) and an Unconditioned Stimulus (US). Alternative theories suggest that learning is not reliant on associations between stimuli, but rather on the temporal information conveyed by stimuli. Studies have shown that temporal information influences Excitatory Learning. However, little is known about how time affects Inhibitory Learning, or the learning that occurs during periods of nonreinforcement. In two experiments, rats were exposed to auditory tones of varying durations, receiving appetitive reinforcers solely in the absence of the tones. The first experiment examined the effect of fixed CS- durations on inhibitory responding, while the second examined the effect of variable CS- durations on inhibitory responding. Results show that responding was dependent on the duration of the auditory CS-, as well as whether or not the CS- was of a fixed or variable duration, indicating that time influences inhibitory learning.



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More About This Work

Academic Units
Psychology (Barnard College)
Thesis Advisors
Balsam, Peter
B.A., Barnard College
Published Here
May 26, 2011