Animal Learning & Behavior

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 257–262 | Cite as

Applying Konorski’s model of classical conditioning to signal-centered behavior in the rat: Some functional similarities between hunger CRs and sign-tracking

  • Graham C. L. Davey
  • Gary G. Cleland
  • David A. Oakley


Two experiments were conducted to investigate functional similarities between “hunger CRs” of Konorski’s (1967) model of appetitive classical conditioning and sign-tracking behavior in rats. Konorski’s model predicts that hunger CRs will be facilitated (1) when a nonrein-forced stimulus similar to the reinforced CS is introduced, and (2) when some CS presentations are unexpectedly nonreinforced. In Experiment 1, hungry rats acquired a leverpress response to a retractable lever that was paired with response-independent food. Following this training, a second lever was introduced whose presentation was not followed by food. The effect of the presence of this second lever was to facilitate responding to the original lever. In Experiment 2, single-lever autoshaping training was followed by a shift from 100% pairing of the lever with food to only 50% of the lever presentations being followed by food. The introduction of partial reinforcement produced an immediate and durable increase in leverpressing. The findings of both experiments are consistent with predictions from Konorski’s model of classical conditioning if sign-tracking is considered as a “hunger CR.”


Conditioned Stimulus Classical Conditioning Food Delivery Behavioral Contrast Food Tray 
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Reference Notes

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Graham C. L. Davey
    • 1
  • Gary G. Cleland
    • 1
  • David A. Oakley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social Science and HumanitiesThe City UniversityLondonEngland

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