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Discrimination learning with variable stimulus 'salience'

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Trevino,  Mario
Georg Köhr Group, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;
Department of Molecular Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Jendritza,  Patrick
Georg Köhr Group, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;
Department of Molecular Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Li,  Shi-Bin
Department of Molecular Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Oviedo,  Tatiana
Georg Köhr Group, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Köhr,  Georg
Department of Molecular Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;
Georg Köhr Group, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Trevino, M., Aguilar−Garnica, E., Jendritza, P., Li, S.-B., Oviedo, T., Köhr, G., et al. (2011). Discrimination learning with variable stimulus 'salience'. International Archives of Medicine, 4: 26, pp. 1-4. doi:10.1186/1755-7682-4-26.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-1FCA-1
Abstract
In nature, sensory stimuli are organized in heterogeneous combinations. Salient items from these combinations 'stand−out' from their surroundings and determine what and how we learn. Yet, the relationship between varying stimulus salience and discrimination learning remains unclear. Presentation of the hypothesis A rigorous formulation of the problem of discrimination learning should account for varying salience effects. We hypothesize that structural variations in the environment where the conditioned stimulus (CS) is embedded will be a significant determinant of learning rate and retention level. Testing the hypothesis Using numerical simulations, we show how a modified version of the Rescorla−Wagner model, an influential theory of associative learning, predicts relevant interactions between varying salience and discrimination learning. Implications of the hypothesis If supported by empirical data, our model will help to interpret critical experiments addressing the relations between attention, discrimination and learning