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Staddonsimmelhag and TimberlakeLucas - I


									I. Staddon and Simmelhag 1971
  A. Re-examines Skinner‟s superstition experiment
    1. examine relationship between evolution and learning
    2. is ANY behavior learned, or are there boundaries of learning
  B. two kinds of questions about Skinner‟s superstition experiment:
    1. experiments with time-related reinforcement schedules have shown
           “mediating” behaviors during waiting period
           a. time filling or adjunctive behaviors
           b. more so on FI thanVI schedules
    2. some behaviors in operant situation appear to be elicited by PAvlovian
           conditioning, and not just by operant conditioning
           a. these appear to be biologically relevant behaviors
           b. can even interfere with ongoing operants, a la Brelands
           c. Brown and Jenkins Sign tracking studies
           d. Autoshaping
    3. designed stud to test it

 C.      The experiment
      1. 6 pigeons in standard operant box
      2. three schedules of food delivery:
             a. FI 12: response independent
             b. VI 8 : response independent
             c. FI 12: Response DEPENDENT
             d. Habituation sessions: 10-min no food delivery in box
      3. Conducted response independent training:
                 i. FI then VI
                 ii. VI then FI
      4. response dependent training
             a. two of birds trained on response-independent trained on response
             b. two naïve birds added
      5. response description and scoring:
             a. used several behavior categories:
                 i. discrete or continuous responses
                 ii. discrete: wall peck, key peck, floor peck, ¼ circles
                 iii. continuous: flapping wings, window wall, move mag wall,
                      preening, beak to ceiling, head in magazine, dizzy, head to
                      magazine, locomotion

 D.      Results
      1. two kinds of behavior:
             a. terminal responses: those occurring 6-8 sec before Sr
             b. interim activities: in between responses
      2. terminal behaviors:
             a. pecking
             b. dizzy motion
            c. pecking to WALL
     3. interim behaviors:
            a. early: pecking floor
            b. circles
            c. flapping wings
            d. moving along wall
            e. beak to ceiling
     4. pattern of behavior different depending on whether response dependent or
            a. more pecking for response dependent
            b. air pecks for response INDEPENDENT
     5. pattern less stereotyped and rigid for VI schedules

E.      Several important characteristics:
     1. strong sequential structure
            a. each bird only showed small number of typical sequences
            b. sequence within a bird VERY rigid
            c. variability of sequences highest early on
            d. not just due to random selection
     2. acquisition phase and sequence
     3. strong terminal and interim behaviors: formed two separate and distinct
            categories of behavior

F.      characteristics of these responses:
     1. terminal response:
            a. consummatory response
            b. more likely immediately following food
            c. probability of terminal response increases with increasing
               probability of food delivery
     2. interim responses:
            a. adjunctive in nature
            b. next to or as a time filler
            c. occur at times when Sr is unlikely
            d. not abnormalities- but seem to occur for a reason
     3. why particular terminal behaviors:
            a. pavlovian conditioning?
            b. Biological boundaries?
     4. Staddon proposes a combination of these:
            a. Interaction of evolution and learning
            b. Law of effect = acquisition model
            c. Doesn‟t specify WHAT behaviors, just how acquired
            d. May be “prewired” to display terminal and interim responses
               i. Situation selects particular terminal responses
               ii. Interim responses are related to situation and are time fillers

     5. says three important factors:
          a. the behaviorin situation before occurrence of reinforcement
               refelects many factors, include past experience, motivation,
               species, setting conditions
          b. transition from initial to final response is probably a function of
               natural selection/biology
          c. Darwinian selection principal like principles of reinforcement:
               optimal behaviors are selected
    6. Distinguishes between reinforcement and principles of reinforcement:
          a. E.g. adaptation and process of selection by which adaptation
               comes about
          b. Reinforcement – specific situation
          c. Principles of reinforcement – general guidelines
    7. several factors for selection of responses:
          a. transfer processes (memory)
          b. stimulus substitution
          c. preparatory responses
          d. syntactic constraints
          e. orienting responses

    8. concludes:
          a. reinforcement acts directly only on terminal response
          b. reinforcement acts only to eliminate behaviors that are less directly
              correlated with reinforcement than others (NOT a stamping in
          c. superstition: response contingency imposed by most reinforcement
              schedules is not essential for the production of some terminal
              response, but only for selection of one terminal response over
              others (directs a response)
          d. related responses also occur
          e. acquisition is process by which select terminal responses
          f. extinction is process by which terminal responses are „unselected”
          g. notes: same is true for classical conditioning

II. Timberlake and Lucas:
  A. Notes two theories of superstition
     1. accidental conditioning
     2. stimulus-substitution theory of Staddon and Simmelhag
     3. this study = test of these two models
  B. study
     1. pigeons
     2. standard pigeon box
            a. feeder on wall
            b. feeder in floor
            c. autoshaped to feeders
     3. 20 days to FT 15 schedule
     4. examined behaviors
               a. pecks
                  i. peck hopper
                  ii. peck wall
                  iii. peck floor
               b. wall directed
                  i. bob wall
                  ii. high bob at wall
                  iii. low bob
               c. walk
               d. hug wall
               e. scraw wall
               f. stay away
               g. head bob hopper
                  i. bob at wall hopper
                  ii. bob at floor hopper
                  iii. squat over floor hopper
               h. orient to middle of chamber
               i. head bob floor
               j. head bob middle
               k. locomotion
               l. walk
               m. turns
               n. emotion
                  i. crouch
                  ii. flap wings
                  iii. tail flick
               o. groom
               p. no movement
C.        Experiment 1:
     1.   FT 15 sec with 5-s hopper
     2.   all birds showed nearly identical behavior in two broad categories
               a. circling away from hopper
               b. repetitive hopper movements
     3.   identical topographies make it unlikely is accidental conditioning
     4.   different topographies than found by Staddon and Simmelhag
               a. still had terminal and interim behaviors
               b. no key pecking!
               c. Note: were naïve birds

D.        next procedure:
     1.   again 4 naïve birds
     2.   assigned to peck or no peck (turn) conditions and hopper trained
     3.   FI 15 or FT 15 schedules
     4.   those birds trainedto initially turn rather than peck showed greater variety
              of locomotor behavior and more stand-away form of wall directed
E.        Experiment 3
     1.   used birds from experiment 1
     2.   FT 15, ext then FT15
     3.   extinction behavior = single, motionless position for entire session
     4.   when food reintroduced: rapidly resumed prior responses

F.        Experiment 4 and 5:
     1.   made food contingent on wall behavior, or used an omission training
             procedure (NO wall = reinforcement)
     2.   again FT 15, FD3 sec, FT15 with contingency (CP), FT 15
     3.   saw typical wall oriented behaviors again
     4.   with contingency: wall-oriented behaviors occurred sooner; shortened
             walk away pattern
     5.   omission contingency unsuccessful: continued to do some wall behaviors
             despite omission continency- although away behaviors increased

G.      Conclusions:
     1. neither model is correct
            a. isn‟t accidental
            b. isn‟t really stimulus substitution, either
            c. omission procedure shows pigeons really couldn‟t stop wall
                behaviors- had to find another way to express these or kept doing
     2. next series of studies determine factors that influence superstitious

     3. Experiments 6 a and 6b:
           a. shortened hopper time to 2 sec from 5 sec
           b. used naïve and experienced birds
           c. found wall hugging and locomotor (interim)
           d. short hopper didn‟t increase pecking responses

     4. experiment 7:
           a. examined strain differences
           b. used white carneaux, silver king and white king pigeons
           c. basically- same behaviors
           d. Silver king showed some pecking!

     5. Experiment 8: hole in floor
           a. 4 naïve pigeons
           b. Floor feeder vs wall feeder
           c. Results: got floor pecking! Low bobs, “lower” behaviors
           d. More locomotor behavior
           e. Form of behavior changed with change in location of feeder!!!!
H.        final experiment 9:
     1.   suggests that ecologically relevant stimuli elicit ecologically relevant
              behaviors....appetitive structure behaviors
     2.   4 naïve pigeons
     3.   funnel shaped feeder in floor at wall- food tray
     4.   behaviors elicited:
              a. circling
              b. head oriented toward floor
              c. stepping and bobbing

I. Conclusions
    1. common set of responses:
           a. wall-directed when feeder on wall
           b. floor directed when feeder on floor
           c. head, neck movements
           d. circling
    2. behaviors are supported by periodic presentation of food
    3. superstitious behaviors come from species-evolved system selected to
           produce species-typical appetitive behavior patterns in presence of
           food (and other simuli!)
    4. pecking occurs when pecking is appropriate
    5. interim behavior = post-food behaviors
    6. nonconsummatory
    7. BEHAVIOR SYSTEMS approach
           a. Organization of behavior depends on functional systems related to
               ecological variables
           b. Organized in units or modules of behavior
           c. Appetitive/consummatory responses
           d. Search, capture, preparatory handling, ingestion

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