Formation of excitatory and inhibitory associations between absent events.


Journal Article

Considerable evidence indicates that associations may be formed between two events even when one or both of them is absent at the time of learning. Previously, some researchers asserted that excitatory associations are formed when associatively activated representations for two events are paired, whereas others claimed that inhibitory associations are formed. In three experiments, the authors investigated the nature of tone-sucrose learning when associatively activated representations of those events were paired in the absence of either of the events themselves. Experiment 1 found substantial excitatory learning when the tone surrogate preceded the sucrose surrogate in training. Experiment 2 evaluated other accounts for the results of Experiment 1, and Experiment 3 found evidence for inhibitory tone-sucrose learning when the tone and sucrose surrogates were presented in simultaneous or backward order. The results indicated that the nature of representation-mediated learning is influenced by some of the same variables as more standard associative learning.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Holland, PC; Sherwood, A

Published Date

  • July 2008

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 34 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 324 - 335

PubMed ID

  • 18665716

Pubmed Central ID

  • 18665716

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0097-7403

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0097-7403.34.3.324


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States