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Attention is necessary for subliminal instrumental conditioning.

Mastropasqua T, Turatto M - Sci Rep (2015)

Bottom Line: The capacity of humans and other animals to provide appropriate responses to stimuli anticipating motivationally significant events is exemplified by instrumental conditioning.Interestingly, in humans instrumental conditioning can occur also for subliminal outcome-predicting stimuli.We found that instrumental conditioning can proceed subconsciously only if spatial attention is aligned with the subliminal cue.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Mind/Brain Sciences, University of Trento, Italy.

ABSTRACT
The capacity of humans and other animals to provide appropriate responses to stimuli anticipating motivationally significant events is exemplified by instrumental conditioning. Interestingly, in humans instrumental conditioning can occur also for subliminal outcome-predicting stimuli. However, it remains unclear whether attention is necessary for subliminal instrumental conditioning to take place. In two experiments, human participants had to learn to collect rewards (monetary gains) while avoiding punishments (monetary losses), on the basis of subliminal outcome-predicting cues. We found that instrumental conditioning can proceed subconsciously only if spatial attention is aligned with the subliminal cue. Conversely, if spatial attention is briefly diverted from the subliminal cue, then instrumental conditioning is blocked. In humans, attention but not awareness is therefore mandatory for instrumental conditioning, thus revealing a dissociation between awareness and attention in the control of motivated behavior.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Across participants correlation between d’ in the subliminal instrumental conditioning and d’ in the visibility test, for Experiment 1 and 2.Despite in both experiments participants showed no sensitivity in the cue discrimination test, the amount of conditioning was larger in Experiment 1 than in Experiment 2, as reflected by the intercepts of the regression lines.
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f4: Across participants correlation between d’ in the subliminal instrumental conditioning and d’ in the visibility test, for Experiment 1 and 2.Despite in both experiments participants showed no sensitivity in the cue discrimination test, the amount of conditioning was larger in Experiment 1 than in Experiment 2, as reflected by the intercepts of the regression lines.

Mentions: To further substantiate the learning difference between Experiment 1 and Experiment 2, in Fig. 4 we show the correlation across participants between d’ in the subliminal instrumental conditioning and d’ in the visibility test. As can be seen, the magnitude of conditioning was larger in Experiment 1 than in Experiment 2, as attested to by visual inspection of the intercepts of the two corresponding regression lines.


Attention is necessary for subliminal instrumental conditioning.

Mastropasqua T, Turatto M - Sci Rep (2015)

Across participants correlation between d’ in the subliminal instrumental conditioning and d’ in the visibility test, for Experiment 1 and 2.Despite in both experiments participants showed no sensitivity in the cue discrimination test, the amount of conditioning was larger in Experiment 1 than in Experiment 2, as reflected by the intercepts of the regression lines.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4530442&req=5

f4: Across participants correlation between d’ in the subliminal instrumental conditioning and d’ in the visibility test, for Experiment 1 and 2.Despite in both experiments participants showed no sensitivity in the cue discrimination test, the amount of conditioning was larger in Experiment 1 than in Experiment 2, as reflected by the intercepts of the regression lines.
Mentions: To further substantiate the learning difference between Experiment 1 and Experiment 2, in Fig. 4 we show the correlation across participants between d’ in the subliminal instrumental conditioning and d’ in the visibility test. As can be seen, the magnitude of conditioning was larger in Experiment 1 than in Experiment 2, as attested to by visual inspection of the intercepts of the two corresponding regression lines.

Bottom Line: The capacity of humans and other animals to provide appropriate responses to stimuli anticipating motivationally significant events is exemplified by instrumental conditioning.Interestingly, in humans instrumental conditioning can occur also for subliminal outcome-predicting stimuli.We found that instrumental conditioning can proceed subconsciously only if spatial attention is aligned with the subliminal cue.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Mind/Brain Sciences, University of Trento, Italy.

ABSTRACT
The capacity of humans and other animals to provide appropriate responses to stimuli anticipating motivationally significant events is exemplified by instrumental conditioning. Interestingly, in humans instrumental conditioning can occur also for subliminal outcome-predicting stimuli. However, it remains unclear whether attention is necessary for subliminal instrumental conditioning to take place. In two experiments, human participants had to learn to collect rewards (monetary gains) while avoiding punishments (monetary losses), on the basis of subliminal outcome-predicting cues. We found that instrumental conditioning can proceed subconsciously only if spatial attention is aligned with the subliminal cue. Conversely, if spatial attention is briefly diverted from the subliminal cue, then instrumental conditioning is blocked. In humans, attention but not awareness is therefore mandatory for instrumental conditioning, thus revealing a dissociation between awareness and attention in the control of motivated behavior.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus