Discriminative cue properties of different fears and their role in response selection in dogs


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Abstract

Trained 3 groups of 5 dogs to perform 1 response (r1) following 1 stimulus (s1) and a 2nd response (r2) following a contrasting stimulus (s2) in order to avoid electric-shock ucss. For 2 experimental groups, s1 consistently warned of ucs to 1 leg while s2 consistently warned of ucs to the other leg; for the control group both s1 and s2 could be followed by shock to either leg. This choice-avoidance task was learned faster when the 2 stimuli each consistently signaled a different ucs than when there was no consistent relationship between the stimuli and the ucss. Results suggest that different types of shock ucss condition discriminably different fears, and these fears provide cue stimuli which can facilitate the acquisition of appropriate choice behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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