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Classical Conditioning Essay

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classical conditioning
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One of Pavlov's dogs with a surgically implanted cannula to measure salivation, Pavlov Museum, 2005
Classical conditioning (also Pavlovian or respondent conditioning, Pavlovian reinforcement) is a form of associative learning that was first demonstrated by Ivan Pavlov (1927).[1] The typical procedure for inducing classical conditioning involves presentations of a neutral stimulus along with a stimulus of some significance. The neutral stimulus could be any event that does not result in an overt behavioral response from the organism under investigation. Pavlov referred to this as a conditioned stimulus (CS). Conversely, presentation of the significant stimulus necessarily evokes an innate, often reflexive, response. Pavlov called these the unconditioned stimulus (US) and unconditioned response (UR), respectively. If the CS and the US are repeatedly paired, eventually the two stimuli become associated and the organism begins to produce a behavioral response to the CS. Pavlov called this the conditioned response (CR).
Popular forms of classical conditioning that are used to study neural structures and functions that underline learning and memory include fear conditioning, eyeblink conditioning, and the foot contraction conditioning of Hermissenda crassicornis.
The original and most famous example of classical conditioning involved the salivary conditioning of Pavlov's dogs. During his research on the physiology of digestion in dogs, Pavlov noticed that, rather than simply salivating in the presence of meat powder (an innate response to food that he called the unconditioned response), the dogs began to salivate in the presence of the lab technician who normally fed them. Pavlov called...

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