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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Examples Of Classical Conditioning

Human Eye-Blink Conditioning

In this procedure the subject is fitted wtih a helmet that can measure the eye-blink reflex. During the conditioning trials a neutral stimulus, for example a dim yellow light presented on a panel, is paired with the presentation of a puff of air to the eye. Before conditioning, the puff of air (US) casues an eye-blink response(UR). During the conditioning trials, the dim yellow light (CS) is paired with the puff of air (US). Once conditioning has occurred, the dim yellow light (CS) leads to an eye-blink response(CR). 

Taste Aversion Conditioning 

In taste aversion conditioning a novel taste(eg. saccharin) is paired with stomach illness. With rats, the illness is typically caused by injection of an small dose of poison. Before conditioning, the injection(US) leasds to illness(UR). During conditioning, the saccharin(CS) is paired with the infjcetion (US). The result of this procedure is that when saccharin (CS) is presented to the rat, the rat avoides it (CR).

People experience taste aversion if they consume a distinctively flavoured food and later become ill from an unrelated virus like influenza(the flu). Although they 'know' it was not the food that caused the illness, they still have an aversion to the taste of the food.

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