Monday, March 25, 2013

Pavlov Inverted: Reward Linked to Image Is Enough to Activate Brain's Visual Cortex

Once rhesus monkeys learn to associate a picture with a reward, the reward by itself becomes enough to alter the activity in the monkeys' visual cortex. This finding was made by neurophysiologists Wim Vanduffel and John Arsenault (KU Leuven and Harvard Medical School) and American colleagues using functional brain scans and was published recently in the journal Neuron...[T]he researchers used a variant of Pavlov's well-known conditioning experiment: "Think of Pavlov giving a dog a treat after ringing a bell. The bell is the stimulus and the food is the reward. Eventually the dogs learned to associate the bell with the food and salivated at the sound of the bell alone. Essentially, Pavlov removed the reward but kept the stimulus. In this study, we removed the stimulus but kept the reward." more

1 comment:

Benjamin N. Witts said...

Kinda sounds like good evidence for Kantor's stimulus substitution - or to a lesser extent, Baum's induction approach to reinforcement...