Temporal and spatial contiguity are necessary for competition between events

Journal article


Herrera, Estibaliz, Alcalá, J. A., Tazumi, T., Buckley, M. G., Prados, J. and Urcelay, G. P. 2022. Temporal and spatial contiguity are necessary for competition between events. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition . 48 (3), pp. 321-347. https://doi.org/10.1037/xlm0001108
AuthorsHerrera, Estibaliz, Alcalá, J. A., Tazumi, T., Buckley, M. G., Prados, J. and Urcelay, G. P.
Abstract

Over the last 50 years, cue competition phenomena have shaped theoretical developments in animal and human learning. However, recent failures to observe competition effects in standard conditioning procedures, as well as the lengthy and ongoing debate surrounding cue competition in the spatial learning literature, have cast doubts on the generality of these phenomena. In the present study, we manipulated temporal contiguity between simultaneously trained predictors and outcomes (Experiments 1–4), and spatial contiguity between landmarks and goals in spatial learning (Supplemental Experiments 1 and 2; Experiment 5). Across different parametric variations, we observed overshadowing when temporal and spatial contiguity were strong, but no overshadowing when contiguity was weak. Thus, across temporal and spatial domains, we observed that contiguity is necessary for competition to occur, and that competition between cues presented simultaneously during learning is absent when these cues were either spatially or temporally discontiguous from the outcome. Consequently, we advance a model in which the
contiguity between events is accounted for and which explains these results and reconciles the previously contradictory findings observed in spatial learning.

Keywords contiguity; cue competition; overshadowing
Year2022
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Journal citation48 (3), pp. 321-347
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association (APA)
ISSN0278-7393
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1037/xlm0001108
Web address (URL)https://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/2022-51840-001.html
FunderEconomic and Social Research Council
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Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online2022
Publication process dates
Accepted27 Oct 2021
Deposited30 Aug 2022
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