Overprediction and blocking in the McCollough aftereffect

Academic Article


  • The Rescorla-Wagner theory (Rescorla & Wagner, 1972) of associative learning offers specific predictions about the associative strength of CS-US pairs when two or more CSs are conditioned to the same US separately and subsequently paired in a compound with the same US. The magnitude of orientation-contingent color aftereffects (AEs) was used as an index of associative strength in this study. The results of experiments using an "overprediction" (Rescorla, 1970) and a "blocking" (Kamin, 1969) paradigm conformed to the predictions of the Rescorla-Wagner theory. In Experiment 1, AEs were established simultaneously for horizontal-vertical and diagonal patterns. When observers subsequently viewed compound induction patterns, AE magnitude was found to be significantly decreased, relative to a condition in which observers did not view such an induction pattern. In Experiment 2, AE magnitude for a given test pattern following inspection of compound induction stimuli was significantly reduced by inspection of the other component prior to viewing the compound induction stimuli. The applicability of associative learning and feature-adaptation models of the McCollough effect is discussed. © 1989 Psychonomic Society, Inc.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sloane ME; Ost JWP; Etheriedge DB; Henderlite SE
  • Start Page

  • 110
  • End Page

  • 120
  • Volume

  • 45
  • Issue

  • 2