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Instrumental behaviour is controlled by two systems: a stimulus-response habit mechanism and a goal-directed process that involves two forms of learning. The first is learning about the instrumental contingency between the response and reward, whereas the second consists of the acquisition of incentive value by the reward. Evidence for contingency learning(More)
Associative learning enables animals to anticipate the occurrence of important outcomes. Learning occurs when the actual outcome differs from the predicted outcome, resulting in a prediction error. Neurons in several brain structures appear to code prediction errors in relation to rewards, punishments, external stimuli, and behavioral reactions. In one(More)
According to contemporary learning theories, the discrepancy, or error, between the actual and predicted reward determines whether learning occurs when a stimulus is paired with a reward. The role of prediction errors is directly demonstrated by the observation that learning is blocked when the stimulus is paired with a fully predicted reward. By using this(More)
The role of within-compound associations in the retrospective revaluation of causality judgements was investigated in a two-stage procedure in which the subjects were asked to learn whether or not different food stimuli caused an allergic reaction in hypothetical patients. In the compound-cue stage a number of compound cues, each consisting of a competing(More)
The recollection of past experiences allows us to recall what a particular event was, and where and when it occurred, a form of memory that is thought to be unique to humans. It is known, however, that food-storing birds remember the spatial location and contents of their caches. Furthermore, food-storing animals adapt their caching and recovery strategies(More)
The administration of the dopamine antagonists, pimozide and alpha-flupenthixol, to rats reduced Pavlovian-instrumental transfer when a conditioned stimulus (CS) that had been paired with a noncontingent food reward was tested on instrumental performance. The administration of the antagonists during Pavlovian conditioning and/or testing abolished the(More)
Instrumental conditioning is considered to involve at least two distinct learning systems: a goal-directed system that learns associations between responses and the incentive value of outcomes, and a habit system that learns associations between stimuli and responses without any link to the outcome that that response engendered. Lesion studies in rodents(More)
According to the 'mental time travel hypothesis' animals, unlike humans, cannot mentally travel backwards in time to recollect specific past events (episodic memory) or forwards to anticipate future needs (future planning). Until recently, there was little evidence in animals for either ability. Experiments on memory in food-caching birds, however, question(More)
Knowledge of and planning for the future is a complex skill that is considered by many to be uniquely human. We are not born with it; children develop a sense of the future at around the age of two and some planning ability by only the age of four to five. According to the Bischof-Köhler hypothesis, only humans can dissociate themselves from their current(More)