Learning & Behavior

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 123–130 | Cite as

Acquired equivalence and generalized suppression in a virtual reality environment

  • W. James Greville
  • Simon DymondEmail author
  • Philip M. Newton
  • Bryan Roche


Acquired equivalence was investigated using a virtual reality conditioned suppression task administered in a first-person-shooter game. Two visual cues, A1 and B1, were followed by a tone (O1), and another two cues, A2 and B2, were followed by another tone (O2). During differential Pavlovian conditioning, A1 was paired with an instructed unconditioned stimulus (US) consisting of a flashing white screen, whereas A2 was not. All cues and outcomes were then presented at test, in the absence of the US, and suppression ratios were calculated for multiple response topographies (shots, hits, and breaks). Clear evidence of the suppression of shots was seen for A1 and B1, with no suppression being seen for either A2 or B2. Presentations of O1 and O2 resulted in significant suppression of shots and hits, whereas only O1 led to the suppression of breaks. The US expectancy ratings were consistent with these behavioral results. The findings are discussed in the light of differing accounts of acquired equivalence.


Acquired equivalence Generalization Conditioned suppression Virtual reality environment 


Author note

This research was supported by a grant from the BIAL Foundation (106/10). We thank Ellen Vervoort for helpful discussion.

Supplementary material

13420_2013_129_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (804 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 803 kb)


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. James Greville
    • 1
    • 2
  • Simon Dymond
    • 1
    Email author
  • Philip M. Newton
    • 2
  • Bryan Roche
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySwansea UniversitySwanseaUK
  2. 2.College of MedicineSwansea UniversitySwanseaUK
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyNational University of IrelandMaynoothIreland

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