Effect of signaling intertrial unconditioned stimuli in autoshaping.J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process. 1983 Oct; 9(4):374-89.JE
Context-unconditioned-stimulus (US) associations have been suggested as the mediator of the response decrement that occurs when extra USs are added to the intertrial intervals (ITIs) of an otherwise standard Pavlovian conditioning situation. The present autoshaping experiments were concerned with the effect of signaling those extra USs, since such signaling might be expected to lessen their ability to condition the context. Experiments 1 and 2 showed that signaling the ITI USs did reduce their detrimental effects on responding to the conditioned stimulus (CS). To determine whether that reduction was due to an impact of signaling on the target-CS-US association or on performance to the target-CS, Experiment 3 examined responding to differentially trained CSs in a common context, as well as responding to identically trained CSs in differentially trained contexts. Whether the CS was tested in a context of relatively high or low associative strength, more responding occurred to the CS trained with signaled, as compared with unsignaled, ITI USs; further, there was more responding to that CS in the more highly valued context. The pattern of results suggests that contextual value does interact with CS-US learning and may also affect performance to the CS.