A dynamic route-finder for the cognitive map.
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Cognitive behaviorist E. C. Tolman (1932) proposed many years ago that rats and men navigate with the aid of cognitive maps, but his theory was incomplete. Critic E. R. Guthrie (1935) pointed out that Tolman's maps lack a rule for action, a route finder. We show that a dynamic model for stimulus generalization based on an elementary diffusion process can reproduce the qualitative properties of spatial orientation in animals: area-restricted search in the open field, finding shortcuts,barrier learning (the Umweg problem), spatial "insight" in mazes, and radial maze behavior. The model provides a behavioristic reader for Tolman's cognitive map.
CitationReid, A. K., & Staddon, J. E. R. (1998) A dynamic route-finder for the cognitive map. Psychological Review, 105, 585-601.
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James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience
Until my retirement in 2007, my laboratory did experimental research on learning and adaptive behavior, mostly with animals: pigeons, rats, fish, parakeets. We were particularly interested in timing and memory, feeding regulation, habituation and the ways in which pigeons and rats adapt to reward schedules. The aim is to arrive at simple models for learning that can help to identify the underlying neural mechanisms. I continue to do theoretical and historical work on the power law in