International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 17 Num. 2 - June 2017


Of Rats and People: A Select Comparative Analysis of Cue Competition, the Contents of Learning, and Retrieval

Volume 17 Num. 2 - June 2017 - Pages 223-244


Juan M Rosas , A Matías Gámez , Samuel P León , Gabriel González Tirado , J Byron Nelson


Select literature regarding cue competition, the contents of learning, and retrieval processes is summarized to demonstrate parallels and differences between human and nonhuman associative learning. Competition phenomena such as blocking, overshadowing, and relative predictive validity are largely analogous in animal and human learning. In general, strong parallels are found in the associative structures established during learning, as well as in the basic phenomena associated with information retrieval. Some differences arise too, such as retrospective evaluation, which seems easier to observe in human than in nonhuman animals. However, the parallels are sufficient to indicate that the study of learning in animals continues to be relevant to human learning and memory.

Key words:

associative learning, cue competition, contents of learning, retrieval processes, comparative psychology, humans, animals

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