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Overshadowing as a function of trial number: Dynamics of first- and second-order comparator effects

Authors
  • Stout, Steven1
  • Arcediano, Francisco1
  • Escobar, Martha1
  • Miller, Ralph R.1
  • 1 SUNY-Binghamton, Department of Psychology, Binghamton, NY, 13902-6000 , Binghamton
Type
Published Article
Journal
Learning & Behavior
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2003
Volume
31
Issue
1
Pages
85–97
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3758/BF03195972
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

In two conditioned lick suppression experiments with rats, we examined the permanence of the overshadowing effect as a function of the number of compound reinforced training trials. In Experiment 1, robust overshadowing was observed following 4 compound-US pairings but dissipated with 36 pairings. Overshadowing decreased because responding to the overshadowed stimulus increased, not because responding by the control group decreased. This dissipation was stimulus specific and not attributable to a response ceiling. Experiment 2 extended the generality of the effect to a sensory preconditioning design and further demonstrated that overshadowing lost through many compound-US pairings was restored by posttraining extinction of the training context. The results are explicable in terms of the extended comparator hypothesis (Denniston, Savastano, & Miller, 2001) under the assumption that the impacts of first- and second-order comparator processes grow differentially as a function of number of trials.

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