Positive and Negative Conditioned Suppression In The Pigeon: Effects Of Locus And Modality Of The CS

Document Type


Publication Date


Published In

Learning And Motivation


In Experiment I, four pigeons were exposed to trials in which a 12-sec key light illumination was followed by free food. These trials were superimposed upon a baseline of key pecking for food reinforcement on a variable-interval schedule. When the signal for food was on the operant key, response rate was substantially higher during the signal than during the baseline procedure. When the signal was on a second, signal key, operant responding was suppressed during the signal and substantial pecking of the signal key occurred. The sum of signal key and operant key pecks far exceeded the operant baseline rate of responding. An explanation of opposite results obtained with rats and pigeons as subjects in experiments of this type was suggested in terms of the spatial relation between the signal for free food and the operant target which usually characterizes these experiments. Experiment II assessed the importance of signal location when shock rather than food was the US. Suppression of operant key pecking was unaffected by signal location. Experiment III assessed the relative effectiveness of visual and auditory stimuli (clicks) as signals for food and shock, and found that all combinations of signal and US were equally effective in suppressing operant key responding. The three experiments together suggested that the identification of important effects of species—typical behavior in one experimental situation does not imply that there will be like effects in similar situations.

This document is currently not available here.