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Analysis of potentiation and overshadowing effects in the instrumental performance of pigeons

Reed, Phil, Honey, Robert Colin and Hall, Geoffrey 1992. Analysis of potentiation and overshadowing effects in the instrumental performance of pigeons. Learning and Motivation 23 (4) , pp. 368-382. 10.1016/0023-9690(92)90002-4

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In each of two experiments, pigeons were trained on a multiple VI (variable interval) schedule with a 3-s delay of reinforcement. Different components were associated with different key colors. Experiment 1 (stage 2) confirmed a previous finding that the response rate is higher in a component having a signal (illumination of the houselight) filling the delay interval than in a component lacking the signal. This potentiation effect was replaced by an overshadowing effect (i.e., the rate was low in the signaled component) when in stage 1 of Experiment 1 the birds received concurrent experience of a component containing houselight presentations not correlated with reinforcement. In Experiment 2 it was found that this overshadowing effect was abolished when the signal used was the presentation of a pattern on the response key rather than illumination of the houselight. These results are interpreted in terms of an interaction between the rate-enhancing properties of the signal (perhaps a consequence of its conditioned reinforcing power) and the tendency of the signal in some conditions to evoke behavior that competes with the response being recorded.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0023-9690
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 06:14

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