chapter  7
22 Pages

The Challenge for Associative Theory

In the preceding chapters, we have presented timing models that place our understanding of Pavlovian and operant conditioning in a new conceptual framework. The new framework emphasizes the symbolic content of conditioning, the knowledge of intervals and rates gained from the conditioning experience and the diverse decision mechanisms that translate that knowledge into observed behavior. New conceptual frameworks bring facts into prominence that were not featured in the previous framework, often because they fit awkwardly into that framework. In this chapter, we consider the challenge posed to associative theories of conditioning by the facts and issues brought into prominence by the timing framework. Before turning to these challenges, however, we review the fundamental differences between the two frameworks.