The influence of background stimuli on summation in autoshaping

John M. Pearce, David N. George, Edward S. Redhead, Aydan Aydin, Clive Wynne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Five experiments examined the factors that determine whether or nor summation will occur when experimental stimuli are presented on a television screen for autoshaping with pigeons. In Experiment 1 there were periods when the television screen was illuminated white and periods when it was dark. When conditioning was conducted during the white periods, then summation was observed if the test trials were conducted with a white screen during the intertrial interval. Summation was not found when conditioning was conducted during the dark periods, no matter how testing was conducted. The remaining experiments demonstrated that summation will occur if at least some of the conditioning trials are conducted with the experimental stimuli being accompanied by white illumination in the remainder of the television screen. It was not necessary for this illumination to persist into the interval between trials. These findings indicate that summation is influenced by the similarity of the patterns of stimulation that are used for training and testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-74
Number of pages22
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section B: Comparative and Physiological Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Physiology (medical)


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