Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

© 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved. This chapter reviews the development of associative theory and its role in the interpretation of the behavior of neurons related to dopamine. It focuses on the investigations of overt behavior that shaped the development of understanding of prediction error. The chapter examines whether these investigations can direct future research into the neural correlates of learning. It discusses effects such as blocking, conditioned inhibition, and super-learning, which are used extensively in investigations of overt behavior, and their precise manipulation of prediction error has shaped the development of associative theory over the last 45 years. The chapter considers how these manipulations of prediction error can be used to generate expectations of when dopamine neurons might be active. It also reviews how investigations of the conditions necessary for associations to develop led to the discovery that the temporal relation between stimuli is an insufficient condition for learning.

Original publication





Book title

The Wiley Handbook on the Cognitive Neuroscience of Learning

Publication Date



47 - 68