Timing and Conditioning, Theoretical Issues
Bonardi C., Cheung THC., Mondragón E., Tam SKE.
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved. In a typical conditioning task, a conditioned stimulus (CS) is reliably followed by an outcome of motivational value. As a result, a conditioned response (CR) develops during the CS, indicating anticipation of the unconditioned stimulus (US). This chapter considers the temporal characteristics of this process, and examines the extent to which they may be explained by trial-based associative theories, comparing them with the alternative, information-theoretic time-accumulation accounts of conditioning and timed behavior. It reviews what is known about the neural substrates underlying these different temporal characteristics of conditioning, and theoretical issues that arise. The chapter focuses on conditioning in the seconds-to-minutes range. It concludes that recent developments of trial-based associative theories are able to provide a plausible account of conditioning and timing, but that further developments are still required before they can provide a comprehensive account of the effects of neural manipulations on timed behavior.