Habituation consists of the progressive response decrement to a repeated stimulation, a response decline that is not accounted for by sensory or motor fatigue. Together with sensitization, habituation has been traditionally considered to be a prototypical example of non-associative learning, being affected only by the features of the stimulation, as for instance its intensity or frequency. However, despite this widespread belief, evidence exists showing that habituation can be specific to the context of the stimulation, thus suggesting that habituation can have an associative nature. Such an unexpected characteristic of habituation was in fact predicted by a theoretical model of associative learning proposed by Wagner in a series of works that appeared in the late 1970s. Here, we critically review the experimental data that since then have been accumulated in support of this hypothesis. What emerges from the literature is that context-specific habituation is common to several animal species and that the ability to form an association between the habituating stimulus and its context is independent of the complexity of the animal’s nervous system. Finally, context-specific habituation is observed for a variety of organism’s responses, ranging from visceral to motor and mental activities.

Context-Specific Habituation: A Review / Dissegna, Andrea; Turatto, Massimo; Chiandetti, Cinzia. - In: ANIMALS. - ISSN 2076-2615. - 11:6(2021), pp. 1-11. [10.3390/ani11061767]

Context-Specific Habituation: A Review

Turatto, Massimo;Chiandetti, Cinzia
2021-01-01

Abstract

Habituation consists of the progressive response decrement to a repeated stimulation, a response decline that is not accounted for by sensory or motor fatigue. Together with sensitization, habituation has been traditionally considered to be a prototypical example of non-associative learning, being affected only by the features of the stimulation, as for instance its intensity or frequency. However, despite this widespread belief, evidence exists showing that habituation can be specific to the context of the stimulation, thus suggesting that habituation can have an associative nature. Such an unexpected characteristic of habituation was in fact predicted by a theoretical model of associative learning proposed by Wagner in a series of works that appeared in the late 1970s. Here, we critically review the experimental data that since then have been accumulated in support of this hypothesis. What emerges from the literature is that context-specific habituation is common to several animal species and that the ability to form an association between the habituating stimulus and its context is independent of the complexity of the animal’s nervous system. Finally, context-specific habituation is observed for a variety of organism’s responses, ranging from visceral to motor and mental activities.
2021
6
Dissegna, Andrea; Turatto, Massimo; Chiandetti, Cinzia
Context-Specific Habituation: A Review / Dissegna, Andrea; Turatto, Massimo; Chiandetti, Cinzia. - In: ANIMALS. - ISSN 2076-2615. - 11:6(2021), pp. 1-11. [10.3390/ani11061767]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/310375
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