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Behav Processes. 2003 Apr 28;62(1-3):27-48.

Stimulus representation in SOP: II. An application to inhibition of delay.

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Departamento de Psicologi;a, Universidad Católica del Maule, Avenida San Miguel 3605, Talca, Chile


The componential extension of SOP accounts for conditioned response (CR) timing in Pavlovian conditioning by assuming that learning accrues with relative independence to stimulus elements that are differentially occasioned during the duration of the conditioned stimulus (CS). SOP, using a competitive learning rule and the assumption that temporal learning emerges via resolution of what is equivalent to an "AX+BX-" discrimination, predicts a progressive increase in the latency of the CR over training, or what Pavlov refer to as "inhibition of delay." Other componential models, which use noncompetitive learning rules, do not predict inhibition of delay. Either type of model makes the prediction indicated, independently of the length of the CS-unconditioned stimulus (US) interval. We report two experiments that demonstrated inhibition of delay when rabbits were trained with relatively long, but not with short, CS-US intervals. To account for this divergence, we assumed that the SOP stimulus trace involves two kinds of elements, some with a temporally distributed pattern of activity over the duration of the CS duration, and some with a randomly distributed pattern. This stimulus representation, not only allows for inhibition of delay with long but not short CS-US intervals, but in combination with SOP's performance rule deduces CR's with "Weber variability."

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