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We use the term classical conditioning to describe one type of associative learning in which there is no contingency between response and reinforcer This situation resembles most closely the experiment from Pavlov in the 1920s where he trained his dogs to associate a bell ring with a food-reward Ryle 1995 In such experiments the subject initially shows weak or no response to a conditioned stimulus CS eg the bell but a measurable unconditioned response UCR eg saliva production to an unconditioned stimulus UCS eg food In the course of the training the CS is repeatedly presented together with the UCS eventually the subject forms an association between the US and the CS In a subsequent test-phase the subject will show the conditioned response CR eg saliva production to the CS alone if such an association has been established and memorized Such Pavlovian conditioning is opposed to instrumental or operant where producing a CR controls the UCS presentations Ryle 1995 Therefore classical conditioning involves learning by association - where you simply learn by associating two events that often occur together Conditioning in general occurs more rapidly when the conditioned stimulus is unfamiliar rather than familiar High order conditioning is when a CS can be used to produce a response from another neutral stimulus can evoke CS There are a couple of different orders or levels Taking Pavlovs dogs as an example Ryle 1995 where light is paired with food The food is a US since it produces a response without any prior learning Then when food is paired with a neutral stimulus light it becomes a Conditioned Stimulus CS - the dog begins to respond salivate to the light without the presentation of the food One of the principles of classical conditioning is extinction If a CS is repeatedly presented without the unconditioned stimulus the CR will disappear In Pavlovs case if a dog learns to associate the sound of a bell with food and
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