Date of Award

Winter 5-1-2018

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

B.S.

Department

Health Care Sciences

Faculty Advisor

George Borszcz

Abstract

While Pavlovian conditioning is a widely recognized form of learning, the nature of this learned association continues to be debated and has significant implications for human and animal behavior. This paper will first address the basic structure of Pavlovian conditioning as well as the two major historical hypotheses—Stimulus-Stimulus (S-S) learning and Stimulus-Response (SR) learning—regarding the underlying neural representation of first-order conditioning. Next, the revaluation procedure, an experimental method used to distinguish between these two hypotheses, will be discussed. Furthermore, the history of revaluation studies on rats will be analyzed, with an emphasis on the specificity of the learned association formed, the use of multiple observational methods to document revaluation, and the role of context in this procedure. In addition, revaluation will be discussed as it applies to humans, specifically its role in the formation of learned preferences, its role in preventing and treating phobias, and its role in the treatment of fear of movement-related pain.

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