Relations between Pavlovian-instrumental transfer and reinforcer devaluation

J Exp Psychol Anim Behav Process. 2004 Apr;30(2):104-17. doi: 10.1037/0097-7403.30.2.104.


Relations between posttraining reinforcer devaluation and Pavlovian-instrumental transfer were examined in 2 experiments. When a single reinforcer was used, extended training of the instrumental response increased transfer but reduced devaluation effects. When multiple instrumental reinforcers were used, both reinforcer-specific transfer and devaluation effects were less influenced by the amount of instrumental training. Finally, although reinforcer devaluation decreased both Pavlovian conditioned responses and baseline instrumental responding, it had no effect on either single-reinforcer or reinforcer-specific transfer. These results indicate that transfer and reinforcer devaluation can reflect different aspects of associative learning and that the nature of associative learning can be influenced by parameters such as the amount of training and the use of multiple reinforcers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Association Learning*
  • Conditioning, Operant*
  • Cues
  • Habituation, Psychophysiologic*
  • Male
  • Perception
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans
  • Reinforcement, Psychology*
  • Transfer, Psychology*