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

Reed, Phil, Honey, Robert Colin ORCID: 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: 25 Oct 2022 09:11

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