Introduction

In the most basic form of classical conditioning, the stimulus that predicts the occurrence of another stimulus is termed the conditioned stimulus (CS). The predicted stimulus is termed the unconditioned stimulus (US). The CS is a relatively neutral stimulus that can be detected by the organism but does not initially induce a reliable behavioral response. The US is a stimulus that can reliably induce a measurable response from the first presentation. The response that is elicited by the presentation of the US is termed the unconditioned response (UR). The term "unconditioned" is used to indicate that the response is "not learned'' but, rather, it is an innate or reflexive response to the US. With repeated presentations of the CS followed by US (referred to as paired training) the CS begins to elicit a conditioned response (CR). Here, the term "conditioned" is used to indicate that the response is "learned."

The most well-known example of classical conditioning comes from the pioneering work of Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936) and his dogs. In this prototypical example, a bell (in reality the CS was usually a metronome or buzzer) is rung just before meat powder is placed on the dog's tongue. The meat powder causes the dog to salivate. Therefore, the meat powder acts as the US, and the salivation caused by the meat powder is the UR. Initially, the ringing bell, which serves as the CS, does not cause any salivation. With repeated pairings of the ringing bell CS and the meat powder US, the ringing bell CS causes the salivation to occur before the presentation ofthe meat powder US or even if the meat powder not presented. The salivation in response to the presentation of the ringing bell CS is the learned or conditioned response.

Breaking Bulimia

Breaking Bulimia

We have all been there: turning to the refrigerator if feeling lonely or bored or indulging in seconds or thirds if strained. But if you suffer from bulimia, the from time to time urge to overeat is more like an obsession.

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