The Influence of CS-US Interval on Several Different Indices of Learning in Appetitive Conditioning

Andrew R. Delamater, Peter C. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Four experiments examined the effects of varying the conditioned stimulus-unconditioned stimulus (CS-US) interval (and US density) on learning in an appetitive magazine approach task with rats. Learning was assessed with conditioned response (CR) measures, as well as measures of sensory-specific stimulus-outcome associations (Pavlovian-instrumental transfer, potentiated feeding, and US devaluation). The results from these studies indicate that there exists an inverse relation between CS-US interval and magazine approach CRs, but that sensory-specific stimulus-outcome associations are established over a wide range of relatively long, but not short, CS-US intervals. These data suggest that simple CR measures provide different information about what is learned than measures of the specific stimulus-outcome association, and that time is a more critical variable for the former than latter component of learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-222
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • CS-US interval
  • Pavlovian-instrumental transfer
  • S-O associations
  • motivational processes
  • timing processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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