Excitatory and Inhibitory Learning With Absent Stimuli

Daniel S. Wheeler, Andrew Sherwood, Peter C. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Three experiments showed that 2 associatively activated stimulus representations may engage in excitatory or inhibitory learning, depending on their temporal relationship. Experiment 1a suggested that simultaneously activated stimulus representations show evidence of inhibitory learning in an acquisition test. Experiment 1b showed similar evidence of inhibition in a summation test. Experiment 2 found that activation of 2 stimulus representations in a serial compound resulted in excitatory learning between the antecedent and the subsequent (forward) and inhibitory learning between the subsequent and the antecedent (backward). The results show the dynamic influence of temporal contiguity on mediated learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-255
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • conditioning
  • mediated learning
  • rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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