chapter  1
18 Pages

Response Timing

The strengthening of an associative bond through repetitive experience is the basic idea in the associative conceptual framework. That idea is seemingly most directly evidenced in acquisition, where the conditioned response (CR) appears after some number of conditioning trials, as if something had been strengthened over successive trials. Thus, associative accounts of conditioning generally begin with simple acquisition. We begin, however, by considering the timing of the CR-when it occurs in relation to the onset of a conditioned stimulus (CS). The basic idea in timing models is that the animal learns the temporal intervals, and this knowledge determines its behavior. The fact that it learns the intervals in a protocol is most directly evident in the timing of the CR.