RESEARCH ARTICLE


What Priming Techniques Can Tell Us about Associative Representations Acquired During Human Contingency Learning



Joaquín Morís*, Pedro L. Cobos, David Luque
Departamento Psicologia Basica (Facultad de Psicologia), Universidad de Malaga, Campus de Teatinos, Malaga 29071, Spain.


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© 2009 Morís et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Departamento Psicologia Basica (Facultad de Psicologia), Universidad de Malaga, Campus de Teatinos, Malaga 29071, Spain; Tel: +34952132630; Fax: +34952132631; E-mail: jmoris@uma.es


Abstract

Associative theories of learning have been used to explain human contingency learning since the 1980's. Recent findings have led several authors to claim that there is no evidence clearly showing the engagement of associative processes of acquisition or representation in human contingency learning, and to propose non-associative accounts. Priming techniques can detect associative representations when the right parameters are employed. The present paper reviews evidence available of associative representations created after human contingency learning obtained using priming techniques. The evidence reviewed supports associative theories of learning and the assumption of spreading activation and associations between representations.

Keywords: Human contingency learning, blocking, priming, memory, learning.