International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy
  

Volume 10 Num. 3 - October 2010

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Spontaneous Recovery as a Dynamic Average of Previous Experiences in Human Instrumental Conditioning

Volume 10 Num. 3 - October 2010 - Pages 403-413

Authors:

Javier Vila , Luis L?pez Romero , Ang?lica Alvarado

Abstract:

This study proposes a model that can explains the sponta-neous recovery (SR) in humans and it was derived from studies in animal foraging. In one experiment it was showed that SR observed after extinction can be interpreted as an integration of previous learning experiences. This model suggests that during SR the organisms made a dynamic average of experiences accounting them subjective value and temporal distance, according with the temporal weighting rule (TWR). The results showed that participants that learned an instrumental task in two phases (acquisition-extinction), after a retention interval (RI) chose the experience with a greater subjective value as a function of four values of the RI (0, 0.5, 1 and 24h) showing an recency-primacy effect according to the TWR. This study analyze how the TWR can predict the development and magnitude of SR in human learning tasks, and discusses the implications of the present results for the study of SR.

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