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A configural theory of attention and associative learning

George, David N. and Pearce, John M. 2012. A configural theory of attention and associative learning. Learning & Behavior 40 (3) , pp. 241-254. 10.3758/s13420-012-0078-2

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A formal account of the relationship between attention and associative learning is presented within the framework of a configural theory of discrimination learning. The account is based on a connectionist network in which the entire pattern of stimulation presented on a trial activates a configural unit that then enters into an association with the trial outcome. Attention is assumed to have two roles within this network. First, the salience of the stimuli at the input to the network can be increased if they are relevant to the occurrence of reinforcement and decreased if they are irrelevant. Second, the associability of configural units can increase on trials when the outcome is surprising and decrease when the outcome is not surprising.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Associative learning, Attention, Classical conditioning
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1543-4494
Funders: BBSRC
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:28

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