Temporal and spatial contiguity are necessary for competition between events
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Over the last 50 years, cue competition phenomena have shaped theoretical developments in animal and human learning. However, recent failures to obtain the well-known blocking effect in standard conditioning procedures, as well as the lengthy and on-going debate surrounding cue competition in the spatial learning literature, have cast doubts on the generality of competition phenomena. In the present study, we manipulated temporal contiguity between predictors and outcomes (Experiments 1-4), and spatial contiguity between landmarks and goals in spatial learning (Experiments 5-7). Across different parametric variations, we observed overshadowing when temporal and spatial contiguity were strong, but no overshadowing when contiguity was weak. Thus, across temporal and spatial domains, we observed that contiguity is necessary for competition to occur, and that competition between cues during learning is absent when cues were either spatially or temporally discontiguous. Consequently, we advance a model in which the contiguity of cues is accounted for, and which can reconcile the previously contradictory findings observed in spatial and non-spatial domains.
- Spatial behavior
- Cognitive maps (Psychology)
- Time perception
- Learning, Psychology of
- cue competition; overshadowing; temporal; spatial; contiguity
- Biological Sciences::Psychology::Cognitive & affective psychology::Psychology of memory & learning
- B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion::BF Psychology
- University of Nottingham, UK Campus
Data typeBehavioural data in two different tasks. Task # 1 assessed predictive learning. Task # 2 assessed spatial learning
- Herrera de la Llave, Estibaliz
- Alcalá, José Andres
- Tazumi, Toru
- Buckley, Matthew G.
- Prados, José
- Economic & Social Research Council
Data collection methodThe data was collected whilst participants participated in the experiments. In each experiment, participants were randomly allocated to a group and they participated in the experiment which was administered through a computer. The task in Exps 1-4 was custom written in C++, whereas the data in Exps 5-7 was collected using MazeSuite, a dedicated software for spatial learning tasks.