Anthony Dickinson

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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 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)
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 argument advanced in this review is that drug addiction can be understood in terms of normal learning and memory systems of the brain which, through the actions of chronically self-administered drugs, are pathologically subverted, thereby leading to the establishment of compulsive drug-seeking habits, strengthened by the motivational impact of(More)
Pavlovian conditioned cues exert a powerful influence on instrumental actions directed towards a common reward, this is known as Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer (PIT). The nucleus accumbens (NAcc) has been hypothesized to function as an interface between limbic cortical structures required for associative conditioning, like the amygdala, and response(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)