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Associatively activated representations of food events resemble food outcome expectancies more closely than they resemble food-based memories

Authors
  • Linwick, Daniel C.1
  • Overmier, J. Bruce2
  • 1 University of Wisconsin, River Falls, Wisconsin , River Falls
  • 2 University of Minnesota, Department of Psychology, N218 Elliott Hall, 75 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN, 55455-0344 , Minneapolis
Type
Published Article
Journal
Learning & Behavior
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2006
Volume
34
Issue
1
Pages
1–12
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3758/BF03192866
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

When Pavlovian stimuli activate representations of food, do these representations resemble memories of food consumed in the recent past or expectancies of food that is imminent? In Experiments 1A and 1B, this question was addressed by training pigeons on a symbolic matching-to-sample task involving different grains as memory cues or as expectancy cues for correct choices. Autoshaping trials involving these same grains were interspersed among matching-to-sample trials, as were test trials involving the substitution of autoshaping stimuli for cues in the matching-to-sample task. Control over choices transferred to autoshaping stimuli in both experiments, suggesting that associatively activated representations of food resemble both memories and expectancies. In Experiment 2, pigeons were trained on a symbolic matching-to-sample task in which food and no-food memory cues (i.e., the samples) were juxtaposed with no-food and food expectancy cues. Subsequently, autoshaping stimuli, which activated representations of food and no food, were substituted for the samples. Choices by the pigeons indicated that associatively activated representations of food-related events resemble expectancies more closely than they do memories.

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