Temporal and Spatial Contiguity Are Necessary for Competition Between Events


Over the last 50 years, cue competition phenomena have shaped theoretical developments in animal and human learning. However, recent failures to observe competition effects in standard conditioning procedures, as well as the lengthy and ongoing debate surrounding cue competition in the spatial learning literature, have cast doubts on the generality of these phenomena. In the present study, we manipulated temporal contiguity between simultaneously trained predictors and outcomes (Experiments 1–4), and spatial contiguity between landmarks and goals in spatial learning (Supplemental Experiments 1 and 2; Experiment 5). Across different parametric variations, we observed overshadowing when temporal and spatial contiguity were strong, but no overshadowing when contiguity was weak. Thus, across temporal and spatial domains, we observed that contiguity is necessary for competition to occur, and that competition between cues presented simultaneously during learning is absent when these cues were either spatially or temporally discontiguous from the outcome. Consequently, we advance a model in which the contiguity between events is accounted for and which explains these results and reconciles the previously contradictory findings observed in spatial learning.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.17639/nott.7110
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Institute of Health & Neurodevelopment (AIHN)
College of Health & Life Sciences
Funding Information: This research was supported by a United Kingdom Economic and Social Research Council Grant (ES/R011494/2) awarded to Gonzalo P. Urcelay and José Prados. Parts of these findings were presented by José A. Alcalá at the Virtual Associative Learning Symposium
Additional Information: © 2022. The Authors. This article has been published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Copyright for this article is retained by the authors. Authors grant the American Psychological Association the exclusive right to publish the article and identify itself as the original publisher Funding Information: This research was supported by a United Kingdom Economic and Social Research Council Grant (ES/R011494/2) awarded to Gonzalo P.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Contiguity,Cue competition,Overshadowing,Spatial navigation,Temporal,Experimental and Cognitive Psychology,Language and Linguistics,Linguistics and Language
Publication ISSN: 1939-1285
Last Modified: 14 May 2024 07:29
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2022 08:49
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
https://osf.io/x63eu/ (Related URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2022-06-01
Accepted Date: 2021-10-27
Authors: Herrera, Estibaliz
Alcalá, José A.
Tazumi, Toru
Buckley, Matthew G. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-6879-9408)
Prados, José
Urcelay, Gonzalo P.



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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